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IN THE ALABAMA COURT OF CIVIL APPEAL 


MAIJREENE BABE DEES, 

Add el 3. ant., 
-vs- 

MORRIS B. DEES, 

Appel lee. 


) 

) 

) 

) 

) CASE NO. CIV. 2114 
) 

) 

) 

) 


ON APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF 
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, ALABAMA 


BREIF OF APPELLANT 


MAURY SMITH 

JULIA S. WATERS 

CHARLES M. CROOK 

A11arn e ys far t.he Appel 1 ant 


OF COUNSEL: 

SMITH, BOWMAN, THAGARD, 

CROOK & CULPEPPER 
P.O. Box 78 
Montgomery, A1 36101 
Tel ephone: (2 05 ) 834- 6500 

. / 

4 

ORAL ARGUMENT REQUESTED 


page l 







TABLE OF CONTENTS 

> V *' ‘ 

PAGE 


I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE ... 

II. THE ISSUES ....... 

III. STATEMENT OF THE FACTS .. 

A. Morris’ Financial Condition ... 

B. The Cause Of The Break-up: Vicki Booker McGaha «... 

C. The Reconci1iation .... 

D. Morris Can’t Give Up His Mistress.... ..„ 

E. Maureens Is Compelled To Seek. Divorce . 

F. Morri s Sets A Trap ..... 

G. Morris- Trap Works: The Hotel Room Agreement ...... 

H. Morris’ Sexual Appetite .... 

A. Dianne Hicks .... 

B. Cathy Bennett ...... . 

C. Judith Rogers .... 

D. Deborah Levy ..... 

E. F'amel a Horowitz .... 

F. Chari ie Springman ...... . f. 

G. Morris’ Step-Daughter .. . . . . 

H. Morris’ Future Daughter-in-law .., . . 

IV. ARGUMENT .................. .... ..... .. 

A. The Trial Judge Plainly And Palpably Abused 

His Discretion ....... 

I. The Conduct Of The Parties With .Reference 

To The Cause Of Divorce ... 

(a) Even If The Parties Were Equally At 

Fault. The Present Decree Is Indefensible .... 

2. The Source Of Their Property .... 

3. The Parties’ Standard Of Living During The 

Marriage And Their Potential For Maintaining 
Or Exceeding That Standard After Their 
Divorce ... 

4. The Financial Circumstances Of The Parties .... 

5. The Parties’ Future Prospect .. 

6. The Length Of The Marriage . 

B. Morris Dees’ Entire Estate Has Been Used Regularly 

F o r T h e C o m m o n B e n e f i t 0 f T h e P a r t i e s . 

1. The Real Estate ..... 

2. Morris’ Other Assets .. .. 

iSfeg.thrauahJ,975 . 


197 6 ..... 

12.77 ... 

1973 ..... 

C. The Trial Court Erred In Prohibiting The Wife 

Fro n i C aliin g The Husband A s A Wit ness . 

CONCLUSION.. . ...... 

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE.... 


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p a ci e 
















































: i. * / 


TABLE OF CASES AND V 'AUTHORITIES 
1 > 

CASES PAGE 

Hughes v, Huahas . 250 Ala. 519. 35 So. 2d 112 (1948) .... 30 

_Revngljjs. 376 So. 2d 732 (Ala. 1979) . 16 

Shirley v. Shirley . 350 So. 2d 1041 (Ala. 1977) ... 18 

Smith v. Smith 369 So. 2d 1235 (Ala'. 19795 .. ....’. . 16,' 17 

AUT H OR ITIES 

Act Number 79-486, Ala. Reg. Sees. 1979 ... 4, 16, 

24 















I. STATEMENT OF THE CASE 

-jr»“ 

This action was commenced when the Appellant Wife, Maureene Dees, on March 
8, 1979. filed her petition seeking an absolute divorce, custody of the child of 
the parties* alimony and child support* property division, and attorney's fees 

(R. 1* et sec). On March 26. 1979* the Husband. Morris S. Dees, filed his answer 

and counter claim seeking a divorce. The Husband alleged that it would be in the 
b e s t i. n t er e s t s o f t h e p ar t i e s' m i n or d au g h t e r t h a t h er c: u s t o cj y b e g r ante ci t o t h e 
Wife (F:. 7 f et seq) . Foliowi nq exten si ve di scovery and pre 1 i minary proceedings 
not important to this appeal, the case went to trial before the Honorable Newman 
C. Sankey, District Court Judge sitting as Judge of the Circuit Court (R. 191). 

The t r i a 1 w a s h e 3. d a n A u g u s t 61 h t h r o u g h 91 h, A u g u s t 2 01 h t h r o u g h 24th, and 

September 21st, 1979 (F:."l91). On September 26, 1979, Judge Sankey'rendered his 
"Findings of Fact" (R. 154, et seq), and on the same day, rendered 'his "Final 
Decree of Divorce" (R. 159, et seq). The said decree granted a divorce, granted 
custody of the child to the Wife, established the Husband's visitation 
privileges, required child support in the amount of $1,500 per month, and.awarded 
the Wife the amount of $120,000 "as alimony-in-gross", with the provision that 
the Husband at his election may pay this amount in monthly installments of $2,000 
over a period of five years* such payments to terminate in the event of the 

Wife' s remarri age* but the entire ba 1 anc:e to be payable to her - estate in the 

e v e n t o f h e r d e a t h . 

The Wife duly perfected this appeal (R. 195, et seq). 

II, THE ISSUES 


1. Are the terms and amount of the trial judge's alimony award arbitrary 
u n cj e r t h e c: i. r c: u m s t. a n c e s ? 

2. W hi e r e t h e H u s b a n d b y h i s o w n c a 1 c: u 1 a t i o n s h a s a n e t w a r r t h o f $3.867 ,0 29, 
and an annual income in excess of $200,000, and where his Wife of eleven years 
has been compelled to seek a divorce by the Husband's obstinate refusal -to give 
up his mistress who he is supporting and who has become pregnant by him, did the 
trial judge abuse his discretion by awarding "alimony-in-grass" of only $120,000, 
payable over five years and terminable in the event of the Wive's remarriage? 

3. Where the evidence is clear and undisputed that property which the 
Husband owned prior to the marriage, or income produced by such property, was 
used regularly for the common benefit of the parties and their family during the 
marriage, as provided in Act No. 79-486, Ala. Leg. Reg. Bess. 979. did the trial 
court err in failing to make findings of act to that effect and in failing to 
c o n s i d e r s u c: h p r a p e r t y i n d e t e r m i n i n g t h e W i f e.'s a 3. i m o n y ? 

4. Where the Husband,, prior to the marriage, owned 897. of the stock of 
Fuller Dees Marketing Group, Inc., which, one year after the marriage he 
exchanged for stock in the Times Mirror Corporation, and where he thereafter sold 
a portion of Times Mirror stock and acquired a portfolio of municipal tax-exempt 
bonds, does his remaining Times Mirror Stock and his portfolio of municipal bonds 
const i tute " pr operty ac:aui. r eci pr i. or to the rnar r i. age" wi. thin the meani. ng of Ac:t 
Number 79-486. F:eg. 8ess. 1979 so as to be exc: 1 uded f rom consi deration in 
d e t e r m i n i n g a 3. i m o n y ? 

5. W h e r e t h e H u s b a n d h a d d e s i a n a t e d h i m si e 1 f a s a pots n t i a 1 t r i a 1 w i t n e s s o n 


p a a e 4 












h i si o w n b e h a 1 f p n r s u a n t. t o t h e p r e -1 r i a 1 a r d e r, a n cl w a s p r a s a n t i n t h a c o u r t. r o o m 
at the beginning of the trial, and where the "ttiVsband* 5 attorneys stated in open 
court that, they planned to call the Husband, as* a part of the case-in-chief, did 
the trial judge err in prohibiting the case' from calling the Husband firs t, as a 
part of her case-in-chief, on the ground that the Wife had not previously 
cj e s i g n a t e d t h e H u s b a n d a s a p o t e n t i. a 1 t r i a 3. w i t n e s s ? 

III. STATEMENT OF THE FACTS 


Maureene Dees grew up i.n Albany, Geo r gia, where she a11ended A1 bany High 
School (R. 250). She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Dramatics from 
Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, in June. 195? (R. 250). In I960 she married 
Richard C. Buck of Macon, Georgia, and they had two children, Holly T. Buck And 
Harold Blakley Buck (R. 251). Mrs. Dees came to Montgomery in 1965 (R. 250). 

She taught dramatics at Huntingdon for about one year in 1967 (R. 429). She was. 
divorced from Mr. Buck in 1968 (R. 250). 

Morris Dees was born in Shorter, Alabama and grew up in Mt. Meigs. He 
graduated from Sidney Lanier High School with a diploma in vocational agriculture 
in 1955 (R. 1145). Prior to his graduation in that year he married Beverly Crum 
on April 15, 1955 (R. 1145). In 1955 he entered the University of Alabama School 
of Commerce, At the University he met Millard Fuller, and they started Fuller & 
Deec. Heart of Dixie Products, which carried out various business enterprises (R. 
1150) He practiced law briefly, but thereafter became fully involved in Fuller ?•< 
Dees Marketing Group (R. 1152). 

Morris and Maureene met. in about 1966 (R, 251). and were married on August 
11, 1968 (R. 251) , At the time of the marri.age. Morris was 1 iving at the Rol ling 
Hill s Ranc:h i n Mathews. A1 abama, ancl foil owi ng the marr i age f hey 1 mmedi ate 1 y took 
up residence there (R. 252). Morris had .two boys from a prior marriage who lived 
with them, Morris Dees, III, cal 1 eel ’"Scooter" and John, who, at the time of the 
m a r r i a g e w e r e t w e 3. v e v e a r s a n d n 3 . n e y e a r s o 3. d r e s p e c: t i v e 1 y (R. 254). M a u r e e n e ? s 
two children by the prior marriage Holly, seven, and Blakley, five, also li.ved 
with them. Maureene and Morris had one child. El lie, who was born in 1970, 
while the fami.lv lived in the home at Mathews (R. 256). 

A. Morr.is.1_9i_ri_an_ci_.al_Cond j._t i._a_n 

At the time of their marriage, Morris was President, Chairman of the Board, 
and 897. stockholder of Fuller & Dees Marketing Group (R. 1152; 1238). A year 

a f t e r t h e m a r r i a g e, o n M a r c: h 10, 1969, a t r a n s a c: t i o n w a s c o n 5 u m a t e d b y w h i c. h 
Morris sold all of his stock in Fuller L Dees to the Los Angeles Times- Mirror 
Corporation, in exchange for stock in the Times Mirror Corporation (R. 1245). 
M cd r r i s r e c: e i. v e d 110,000 s h a r e s o f T i m e s M i r r o r s t o c k v a 3. u e d a t $ 4 7.00 per s h a r e, 
f o r a t o t a 1 v a 1 u e o f $5, 150,000 (R 3.2 4 5) , b u t o v e r■ t h e y e a r s i t s v a ,1 u je . declined 
somewhat (R. 1259). From time-to-time Morris has sold portions of his Times 
Mirror stoc:k for various purposes. A 1 ar g e p6rt.ion of the proc:eeels from the sale 
of Times Mirror stock was invested in tax-free municipal bonds (R. 1258-1259). 

From 3.968 through 0t.ober, 3.975, the f ami 1 y was suppor t ec! exc 1 usi v & 1 y by 
M cd r* r i s 9 i n c a m e f r o m t h e s e i n v e s t m e n t s. B e g i n n i n g i. n □ c: t o b e r , 19 7 5, t h i s i n c o m e 
began to be supplemented by a salary from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which 
M cd r r i s h a ci f cdu n d ed ear 3. i er (M 0 r r i s 9 An s wer s t o I n t er r oa a t or 1 es- ; PI. E x . 84). 










At the time of the divorce, Norr 1 e\.,..net 
calculati ons , was $3,876,029 (R. 1252, et ss0A**Def . 

231). Hie annual income exceeds $230,000 <»Def. Ex. 

$ 160, 000 a n n u a 1). y i s ci e r i v e d f r o m m u n i c i p a 3. bon d s 
income tax (Def. Ex. 23). 

B. The Cause Of The B rea k-up; Vicki B ooker McGaha 

Although Maureens was subjected to a number of degrading sexual episodes by 
Morris during the marriage which will be discussed hereafter, neither Morris nor 
Maureens ever wanted or sought a divorce until Morris established his permanent 
relationship with Vicki Booker McGaha in August of 1977. It was Morris’ absolute 
refusal to give ud his mistress, whom he was supporting and whom he had made 
pregnant, that directly caused termination of Maureene’s marriage and forced her 
to institute these divorce proceedings. 

In August, 1977, Morris tried- the* "Weisenhunt case" in Birmingham, and 
became acquainted with Vicki Booker McGaha. who was a member of that jury (R. 

1459). Thereafter. Morris and Vicki began a sexual affair which has still not 

ended, and which was the cause of termination of two marriages. Following their 
meeting in Birmingham during the Weisenhunt. trial in August, 1977, Morris had 
sexual relations with Vicki at Dak Mountain State Park _ i n ^Shelbv Conn tv (R. 

14 61) , t h e P r a 11 v ills H o 1 i d a y 1 n n, t h e H o 1 i ci a y I n n E a s t, t h e G o v e r n o r’ s H o u s e 
Hotel , and theHowarci Johnson Motel (R. 1462) . The f i. r st tr i. p that he took with 

her was a f our day trip to the "Cajun Country 11 in Loui si ana on a motorcyc: 1 e in 
Apri 1 . 1978 CR„ 1464-1465) . In August, 1978, Vi.c:ki joineci Morri s in Co 1 umbus, 

G e o r g i a. w h e r e s h e s t a y e ci w i t h h i m a t t h e H o lid a y I n n (R. J. 4 68) . 

Maureene first found out about Vicki when she was contacted by Vicki’s' 
husband, who subseemen11 y tur necl over t o hisr 1 e1.1 er s t.hat Morr i s hac! wr i 11.en t o 
Vicki and tape recordings of conversations that Morris had had with Vicki (R. 
•361-362), Mr. McGaha divorced Vicki McGaha in May, 1978 (R. 1469). Around this 
time, at Morris’ request, Maureene met with Morris and Vicki at the Sheraton 
M o u n t a i n B r o o k 1 n n t o d i s c: u s s t h e s i t u a 11 o n . (R. 358) . D u r i n g t h i s c: o n v e r s a t i o n 
Mcd rr i s t o 1 ci Maureene that he was i. n 3. ove w :i. th Vi. cki, that they wanteci to be 
together, and they didn’t care if they had anything but. a shack with a dirt floor 
if thev c: cdu 3.d be together (R. 358). Mcd rris t cd 3.d Maureene that he and Vicki were 
g o i n g t o 1 i v e t o g e t h e r a n c! the y t h e y h o p a d s h e w o u 1 d li n cl e r s t a n d. M a u r e e n e 
learned that the affair had been going on since August of 1977 (R. 280-281, et 

seq). In later conversations Morris cried and told Maureene that he loved them 
both, and that "Vicki has such beautiful blue eyes and she can see right through 
you" (R. 360), Following this meeting, Maureene separated from Morris for the 
first time and -filed the first suit for divorce (R. 361). 

C. The,R eco nei1iation 

After Maureene and Morris had been separated for about four to six weeks, 
Morri s te 1 e o honed her and sa 1 d that he had mac!e a mi stake, that he did 1 ove' 
Maureene and wanted her back, and he swore never to see Vicki McGaha again (R. 
232). To assure her of this Morris arranged another meeting among the three of 
them as Joe Levin’s lake cabin on July 3, 1978 (R. 367, et sec;). This meeting 
was bizarre. In a three-way conversation Morris could first ask Vicki' to state 
how much she loved him. and he would then turn to Maureene to ask her to state 
how much she loved him (R. 367). It was as if he were staging a contest to see 
who loved him the most, or who would do the most for him (R. 367). After a 


w o r t h, based_up_on_ his _own 

Ex . 86-87; StTpul ati on, " R : . 
76-79), of which more than 
upon which Morris pays no 











lengthv conversation, during which Morris had taken his socks off. he announced, 
"Alright, I'll tell you girls my answer when V( L.get. my sacks on. " After taking an 
inordinate amount of time putting his socks, on. he got up,. walked around behind 
them, put an arm on each girl, and,ceremoniously stated, "I tell you this day, 

July 3. 1978, I. Morris Dees, can’t live without either one of you," (R. 368). 

At that point, Maureene said, "I'll tell you what, Vicki, you can have him." (R. 

t l a \ 

..".JLJ ) . 

I n r e s p o n s e t o t h e s e s t a t e m e n t s b y M o r r i s, M a u r e e n e m a d e i t c 1 e a r once again 
that Morris could not have them both, that he could not remain married to her and 
live w 11h Vi c: k i , and that hie must. make up h i s mi ncl one way or~ another. At the 
c o n c 1U. s i □ n o f the m e e t i n g , M o r r i s p r o m i s e d n e v e r t o s e e V i. o k i a g a in (R. 2 8 2) . H e 
told Vicki that he and Maureene had reconciled, and that he could not see her 
anymore (R. 1337). Morris himself testified that in Maureene's presence he old 
Vicki that it was all over and that he wouldn't see her anymore (R. 1357: 

cr n o __ -j ir r :- -y ^ 

D. Morri s _ Can't Giye Up H is Mi stress 

Morris' promises did not last long. Although Maureene didn't know it at the 
time, less than two week s l ater he resumed his re1 ationship with Vicki (R. 1523). 
Bv his own admission,, he found himself unable to terminate the relationship with 
Vicki, in response to questions by his own attorney: 

"(At R. 366) 

Q. (B v M r . B y r n e) N o w, g i v e t h e C o u r t s o m e j u d g e m e n t a b o u t. 

how many times you attempted during 1978 and 1979 to break 

off y o u r r e 1 a t i o n s h i p w i t h V i c: k i B o a k e r ? 

A. 0 h . g o s h . a b o u t e v e r y m o n t h I' d s a v. 11 w a s a c o n t i n u a 1 

a f f a n d o n r e 1 a t i o n s h i p. 

* # % 

(At. R. 1367) 

A. (By Morris, describing Defendant's Exhibit 103, a letter, 
from Morris to Vicki) Well, its an undated letter. I think 
it was in January of 1979, and it basically described the 
c d n t i. n u i n g p r o b 1 e m o f w e o u g h t t cd e n d t h i s r e ]. a t i. C3 n s h ip. I'm 
telling her that I don't really think I've got the strength 
t CD a n cj I w 1 s h s h e w o u 1 d d a i. t h e r s elf. " 

% % % 

(At R. 1434) 

Q. (By Mr, Smith) Let me ask you if you said this or--this in 
substance in response t cd a au.estion by Mr-. Byrne. 'I 
attempted every'month to break off my relationship with 
Vicki'. 

A. I t h i n k t h a t w o u 1 cl b e a p r e 11 y a c: c u r a t e s t a t e m e n t b e f o r e 


n "i n 






Maureens left home. 


. i •»* 


Morr 

is had'be 

s n s u p p o r 11 n g V 1 c k i 

s i n c e» h e r 

d 1 vorce from he r husband in May, 

1979, and 

he contii 

nued to do so as 

t h e v c o n 

t i n u e ci t h e i r a f -f a i. r e v e n a f t e r 

promising 

Maureene 

in July, 1978 that 

t h’! e a f f a 

ir was ov e r for g o od. Mo rris 

admits to 

having pi 

r o v i ci e d t h e f o ]. ]. n w i n g s u p p o r t 

to Vicki during the Eleven-month 

period fr 

om mav, 1 

978 through March, 

1979 (R, ]. 

504, et seq): 


Mav 30, 

1 0 7};) 

$ 1 ,500 



June 6 , 

4 oyc) 

500 



J u n e 2 2 

u 1978 

1 ,500 



Julv 6 , 

j g 7 c) 

1 ., 000 

(after "reconci 1 ing" with 


July 30 

, 1978 

1,50 0 

M a u r e e n e J u 1 y 3 r ci) 


Aug. 26 

, 1978 

1 ,500 



Aug. 27 

1979 

1,625 



Sept. 2 

0. 1978 

1,500 



Nov. 27 

, 1978 

5, 000 



Jan, 25 

, 1979 

5 ,000 



March, 

1979 

2 j _000 



Total $22,625 

Morris stopped sending Vicki money only when the present divorce suit was -filed 
(R. 1506). In addition, Morris loaned Vicki $28,000, at 87. interest, to enable 
her to purchase her -former husband's interest in their home at the time of her 
divorce (R. 1351). 


E. Maureene Is C om pelled To Seek Divorce 

In November, 1978, Morris finally admitted to Maureene that, notwithstanding 
the promises that hie had made in Ju 1 y to abandon Vicki anc! reconcile with 
Maureene, he had continued to see Vicki in Birmingham, that she was then -five 
months pregnant with his child, and that he would be going to Birmingham in a few 
davs to be with her while she had an abortion which Morris was paying for (R. 
364). Over the next sixty days, Maureene concluded that she -simply could not 
accept the situation any longer. It was apparent to Maureene that Morris was not 
going to go stop seeing Vicki, and Maureene was not willing to live in a 
situation where she knew for a fact that her husband really had. in effect, two 
wi ves (R. 412) . Morr 1 s was suppor t i ng V 1 c: k i and h ad faeen doi ng so f or a 1 most a 
year. He treated Vicki like a wife, supplying all of her financial and emotional 
needs, He was there when she needed him. He was spending*. a 1 ,most half a week 
going back, and -forth to Birmingham two or three times a week, attempting to 
divide his time between them (R. 412). In January or February, 1979, Maureene 
told Morris that she could simply no longer accept the situation, and that she 
was going to leave (R. 385). Following this conversation, Morris started trying 
to induce Maureene to exec:ute certain agreements (whic:h wi 11 be discussed in 

detail hereafter) that would permit each of them to have .sexual relations with 

other parties (R. 385). Maureene refused to sign any of these agreements (R. 
387). While trying to induce her to sign these agreements, Morris continued to 
tell Maureene that he loved her and that he would stop seeing Vicki (R. 390). 
Hawever , hie d 1 d not stop seei ng her. Bur 1 ng th i s per i od hie took Vi c ki and her 
children to the ballet in Birmingham, and spent the night at Vicki's house (R. 
390). He met Vicki in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl in January,.- 1979, where 
they spent two days together (R. 1473). 










In March, 1979. Maureens left Morris for the last time, and she has lived 
separate and apart from him ever since (R. 370.}’V Morris and Vicki moved into the 
f ami 1 y home i n Math ews (F;. 37 0 ) . Maureens ,gammenc:ed the presen t sui. t on Marc:h 8, 
1979. 

F o 11 a w i n g t h e f i n a 1 s e p a r • a t. i o n, M o r r' i s o p e n I y c o n t i n u e d h i s r e 1 a t i o n s h i p 
with Vicki. Taking his daughter, El lie, with him, Morris met Vicki in Los 
Angeles on March 10, 1979 (R. 1473). Morris and Vicki stayed in a hotel while 
Ellie stayed with a friend (R. 1475). He introduced Vicki to Eliie as "Pat" (R. 
1475), and after leaving Los Angeles the three of them flew to Las Vegas together 
(R. 1475). They had only one room for the three of them, but Morris claimed that 
Vi c:ki sat. li p a 11 n i ght i n the hote 1 1 obby (R, 1476) . Morr i s took Vi ck i to the 
White House signing of the Israel-“Egypt Peace Treaty on March 26, 1979 (R. 1518). 
On June 4, 1979, Morris took his daughter Ellie, and Vicki and her family, to the 
Grand Hotel (R. 1479). ~ ’ - 

F. Morris Sets A Trap 

In February. 1979, Morris Dees realized that he was in a precarious legal 
position. He had been conducting an affair with Vicki McGaha for almost two 
years; she had became pregnant by him and had received an abortion which he had 
paid for; he was supporting her and spending most of his time with her and 
planned to continue to do so; and Maureens, who was fully aware of all of these 
facts, had stated that she could not tolerate the situation any more and was 
leaving him to institute divorce proceedings. To protect himself in the 
impending litigation, Morris had to find a way to neutralize Maureene. In 
February, 1979, after Maureene informed Morris that she was leaving him, Morris 
wrote out an agreement, which he showed to her on a Sunday afternoon, and asked 
her to stay and live by this agreement (R. 385). This agreement, identified and 
i ntroduc:ed as P1 ai ntiff’ s Exhi bi t 30« purported to permit .the parti es to lead 
separate lives but stav married, and provided that they would hot hol'd anything 

against each other that head happened either before or after the date of the 

agreement (R. 386). The first such purported agreement (PI. Ex. 30) provided in 
part as follows: 

11 Whareas they (Morri s and Maureene) fee 1 that they c:an be11er 
work toward a more complete and satisfying relationship in 
t h e i r in a r r i a g e i f t h e y hi a v e a n o p e n m a r r i a g e, i . e. , where 
each party, while still living together as man and wife, be 

f r ee t o h ave r e? 1 at i on s h i p s w i t h t h e opp os i t e s ex , whi-rLtl said 

re 1 at i onshi ps may c: ansi st of _sexu a 1 i nt erc:ourse ..." 

During the time that he was discussing this agreement and urging her to sign 
it, Morris continued to tell Maureene that.-he loved her and that he had stopped 

si e e i n q V i c: k 1 (R, 3 90) , w h i c: h w a s a n o t h e r lie. P1 a i n t i f f • s E x h i b i t 31 is a n o t h e r 

agreement which Morris drafted because he did not like the language'of the first 
agreemerit, anc! c:ont.ai ns th i s provi si on: 











(f) T hi e p a r 1 1 e s wi_l_l enc ou rag e a ifi£L!lS® SiL fre edom i_n r egard _to 

re 1 ati onshi ps wi_th member-;; of_ the OQ£a&it_e sex , even to the_point of 

ex tra -marital sex ual r elati o ns hi ps i f th e ne ed arise?; and will not use these 
relationships; against eac:h other, in the future, in any court of law for any 
purpose. This is important because it is the belief of the parties that during a 
recent traumatic time in their marriage when divorce was; contemplated both 
parties were fearful of the other party using past extra-marital relationships 
between the parties to gain some advance in the divorce proceedings. 

(g) The parties agree that if their relationship ever has to be dissolved by a 
divorce, that the proceeding will be no fault, i.e., the parties will enter the 
proceedings with only the issue of financial responsibilities and child custody 
at stake without these issue being affected by the past conduct of the parties. 
Morris agrees that Maureene should have custody of their daughter, El lie Maureene 
Dees, should the parties ever separate. This agreement:.,'.. Morris believes is 
important, to eliminate any distrust. ■ Maureene might harbor about Morris*’ desire to 
r e m o v e E13. i. e f r o m h e r i n t h e e v e n t o f a d i. v o r c e. 

Maursene had na part in the preparati*on of either of these agreement.s (R. 
392-393). They were prepared solely by Morris and presented to her, and she 
refused to sign either of them (R. 387). On one occaison Morris accompanied 
Maureene to Maury Smith's office and Maury told her in the presence of both that 
he would not advise her to sign it (R. 398). Even following that time, Morris 

c on t i n u ed t o ur g e h er t a s i g n t. h e ag r e emen t (R. 39 8) , wh i 3. e a t t h e s a me time 

telling her that he wanted her to have a sexual relationship with someone else, 
and encouraging her to have sexual intercourse with other men (R. 396). In his 

deposition (P1. Ex. 102), Morris a dmits t ha t a t this time he_ was- enc our aging 

Maureene to have; rel ati onshi ps wi th other m en, or , as he put i t. he "agreed" that 
s.he mi ght. Upon deposi t i on. he test*.i f i ed as f o 11 ows: 

(A t M cd r r i s *’ D e p o, P a g e 246, q u e s. t i o n s b y W i f e *’s C o u n s e 3.) 

" Q. B u t y o u h a d d 1 s c: u s s e d t h e m (t h e a g r e e m e n t si-) , Mr. D e e s ? 

A. We had discussed it let me answer the question. 

0. Well, you are not answering the question. 

A. I am going to answer it. I told her that as far as I was 

concerned t hat she cpu 1 d, h ave sex wi_th who ever she wa nte d 

tg7 ;r * 


% * % 

(At Page 232) 

A. I di dn' t. enc:ourage her, 1 agreed that she coul d. 

Q. You agreed that she could? 

A. Exactly. 

Q. When did you agree that she could have sexual intercourse 
wi. th cd 1:her* peap3.e? 

























A. Prior to even drawing up these agreements, I ag reed to_i_t 

orzllx - I h a v e a 1 r e a cl y s a i cl t h a t . 

Q. When did you -first orally agrees that your wife, your 
lawful wife, could have sexual intercourse with.other people? 
A. About a day before this agreement was drawn up — 

G. This was some time in, February? 

M n V fc? So 

Q . A n cl i t. w a s o n e d a y p r e c: e d i n ci t h e f i r s t a g r e e m e n t ? 

A. Approximately," 

* * * 


(At 

page 253) 



"Q. 

You knew she (Maureene) knew about 

you and Vicki' 

y 

A« 

A b o u t t h e a b o r t i. o n, a n ci s h e s a i d» 

1 am qoinq to «. 

jss that 

and 

I ai d, Maureens, 1 ook i f vou have 

somebody you 

..want_to 

hay 

s sex with, qo ahead and have sex 

jMith _them. 

We- said 

tha 

t. t h a t n i g h t a t t h e b a r. 



Q. 

T h a t; w a si- c ]. e a r a n d u n m i. s-1 a k a b l e ? 



A. 

Q t 

C1 s a r a n cl u n m i s t a k a bis. 

Y o u e n c o u r a g e ci h e r t o a n ci i f t here 

was anybody 


A. 

3'. f v o u c: a 11 t h a t e? n c: o u r a q e m e n t .-' 1 




G. Morr ijil_Trap Works;_The Hots 

3. Room Agreement 


On March 4, 1979, Maureene walked naively into the trap which Morris had 
set. On that date, she flew to Washington, D.0«, where she met Brian 0 ? Daugherty 
(R. 576). Maureene knew Mr. Q ? Daugherty in connection with her work on the 
National Endowment, and he was the Director of the Media Arts Program (R. 341). 

M o r r i s hi a cl t o 1 d h e r s hi e c: o u Id see a n y o n e s hi e w a n ted, a s 1 o n g a s s h e w a s discreet 
(R. 578), and her flight to Washington was booked under the name of Betty Foster 
(R, 576). Maureene and O’Daugherty had dinner together on the night of March 
4th, and returned to her hotel room (R. 578). When they were in bed together, 
Morris and a Montgomery private detective, both of whom had been hiding in the 
bathroom, jumped out and started taking photographs, Morris said word in 
s u b s t. a n c: e a s f o 11 o w s: 


" A1 r i g h t s i s t e r, y o u w a n t e cl a d i v o r c: e. N o w 1 w a n t o n e, 

b ecause I•v e g ot y ou where I wan t y ou." (R. 586) 


M o r r i s w a s a c: t i n g c: r a z y, a n c! Maureene t h o u g h t h e w a s g o i n g t o kill everybody 
in sight. He told her that he had five detectives, with him (R. 592). He hit her 
and gave her a bust ecl j aw. (R, 592). He then st art ec! wr i t. i ng someth i ng on paper 

which he then gave her t.g. sign (R. 422-423). This document, entered unto 

evidence as Plaintiff’s Exhibit 43, was a separation agreement (R, 423). The 
agreernent provi.deci that M arr i s was to have custodv of E11 ie, the parties ? 
nine- y e a r o 1 d c! a u g h t. e r, M a u r e e n e w a s t o r e c: e 1 v e "25, 000 a 1 i m o n y -in- g r o s s upon 
the "execution" (sic) of a divorce, and that in addition she was to receive 
$1,500 per month as alimony for a period of three years from the divorce. Under 
this agre»ment, Maureene re 1 i nqui. shed a 11 c 1 a 1 ms to any real • • estate • owned by 
M o r r i s, a n cl a g res cl t o r e t u r n t o him t h e d i a m o n d r i n g w h i c h h e h a cl g i v e n to her. 
The agreement recites that, although it is execute on March 5th in Washington, 
D.C., it will be notarized by an Alabama notary (the detective) and shall . be 


I 





















Maureens 


g o v e r n e c! b y t h e 1 a w s o f A1 a b a m a. 
a f r a i d n c:> t t o (R. 423). 


s i ctnj&>d t h e a q r e s m e n t b e c: a u s e s h e w a s 


A f t £ r r s t. u r n i n g t o M o n t g o m £ r y, M o r r i s a s k e d a 1.1 o r n e y Paul L o w a r y t. a handle 
the divorce baaed upon the hotel room agreement (R. 412). Although he knew that 
Maureene was already represented by Maury Smith, Morris instructed her to go. to 
Paul Lowery's office for this purpose (R. 427). She declined to do -this,, and 
late r P a u 1 L o w e r y c: a m e t o t h e h o u s e w h e r e M a u r e e n e w a s s t. a y i n g, w i t. hi p a p e r s f o r 

h e i" t o s i g n „ b u. t s h e r e f u s e d t o d o s o (R ■ 4 28 4 2 ?) . 

A p p a r e n 11 y i n a 1 a si-1 e f f o r t. t. o i n d u c: e a s e 11.1 e m e n t w i t. h M a u r e e n e, M o r r i s 

later told her that he was sorry he had the photograph taken in the hotel room, 

that he should not have taken them, and that he wanted her to have them (R. 426). 
H e q a v e t h e m t a h e r w i t h i n s t r u c t i o n s t a a e s t r a y them, t e 11 i n g h e r t h a t the s e 
were the only copies (R. 426). He also gave the original signed copy -of the 
hotel room agreement. She tore up both envelopes without looking inside (R. 
426). M o r r i s' s t a t. e m e n t t h a t t h e s e w e r e t h e o n 1 y c o pies o f t h e p h o t. o g r a p h s w a s 
another* 1 1 e. since he intr*oduced the ph o tographs into evidenc:e at the trial. 


H. Mqrr i_s'_Sexual_Aja p etijte 


maureene was literally force to file suit for divorce in March, 1979, 
because of Morris' obstinate refusal to give up the mistress who he was then 
s u p p o r t: i. n g a n d w h o h a d b e c: o m e p r* e g n a n t b y h 1 m« H o w e v e r , M a u r* e e n e d 1 d n o t: g i v © u p 
h e r m a rr i a g e e a s i 1 y. P r i o r t o M o r r i s' p e r m a n e n t i n v o 1 v emen t w i t h the Me G ah a 
woman, Maureene had endured a long series of degrading incidents .which evidenced 
Morris' voracious and eclectic: sexual appetite. Since early in their marriage, 
Morris repeatedly bragged to maureene that with his looks and his money he could 
have any woman he wanted, and he constantly bragged about women propositioning 
him (R. 350, et seq). [Some insight into the size of Morris' ego is provided by 
his letter of January 22, 1979, to "Ham" Jordan (a copy of which he sent to 
Vicki), in which he makes application to be appointed Attorney General of the 
United States to replace Griffin Bell, giving as one of his principal 

qualifications the fact that "... all my life, I have been a winner." (PI« Ex. 
91). Later in the marriage he repeatedly told her of women that he had had 
sexual intercourse with during the marriage (R. 354). He said further that he 
enjoyed trying to turn on gay people and he expressed a desire to have an 
experience with a gay (R. 354). Early in the marriage, Morris gave her a book on 
"Open Marriage" and started encouraging her to have sexual intercourse with other 
men (R. 419-420). During the year or so after they were married,, Maureene became 
aware that her husband was having an •affai’r with a woman named Becky Logan (R. 
458). During the same perl-od, she began receiving anonymous telephone calls 
c once r n i n g h e r h u s h a n c! a n cl a b 1 a c k w o m a n i n t o w n (R, 459) . 

A. Di_anne_ - Hi - c > k.s. In his deposition, Morris admits that in the spring of 1973 
(Morris depo. p. 27), or during the summer of 1973 (Morris depo. p. 25), he had 
an affair with Dianne Hicks, a Mobile lawyer who was working lor the Southern 
Poverty Law Center (Morris depo. p. 25). He had sex with her during a canoe trip 
down the Tallapoosa River (Morris depo. p. 25), and also in Brewton where they 
were working together on a trial (Morris depo. p. 26-27). 

B. Cath^^Bennett^ In the fall of 1974, morris brought to the family home in 
M a t h e w s a q i r 1 n a m e d C a t h y B e n n e 11 w h o w a s a p s y c: h o 1 o g i s t w h o h a cl w o r k e cl wit h 

M o r* r i. s o n s e v e r a 1 c a s e s (R« 284). She s t a y e ci i n t h e i. r h o m e i. n M a t h e w s.f o r a b q u t 

a week, during which time they had Bobby Kennedy there as a guest (R. 285). 

M a u reene w a s s u s p i c i o u s o f h e r h u s b a n d' s r e 1 a t 1 o n s h i p w i t h t h i s g i r 1 (R. 286), 

and later Morris admitted having an affair with her (R. 1325). Morris told Mrs. 






Dees that his affair with her was over in December, 1974, but she later found 

that he and Cathy continued to conduct an affair; in Atlanta where Morris lived 

for a period during the Jimmy Carter campaign (R. 287, 291). 

C. Ju dith R ogers. In the fall of 1977 (R. 1344), Morris and Maureene held a 

Little Theatre party at their home, attended by Dr. Rogers, a Montgomery 
physician, and his wife Judith, who is a criminal psychologist (R. 292, 1344, 

1345). During the party Morris admits that he took Judith into a back room of 

his house, while the party was going on, and had intercourse with her (R. 1344, 

293) . 

D. Deborah Le vy . In the spring‘of 1976, Morris invited to the house Deborah 

Levy who worked for the American Civil Liberties Union in New York, and the man 

with whom she lived in New York, Michael Gaas (R. 299, 303). The Southern 

Poverty Law Center was considering starting a magazine in opposition to the death 
penalty, and Morris was interviewing Deborah Levy for the job- of running the 

magazine (R. 301). She was not hired for the job, but she and her boyfriend did' 

.visit*-the Dees home in Mathews for several days on two different occasions (R. 
301). In August, 1976, Morris and maureene took them on a canoe trip down the 
river (R, 202-203). After supper, they had all gone to bed in sleeping bags, 
when Maureene woke up and -found Morris and Deborah naked, having sex on the 
sandbar (R. 306). Morris turned to Maureene and insisted that she have sex with 
the other man. (R. 306). Later Maureene went back to sleep and woke up shortly 
before dawn, and found Morris and Deborah having intercourse again right next to 
her (Fw 307). While having intercourse with Deborah, Morris leaned over and 
kissed Maureene (R. 308). The next morning Maureene objected strongly to the 
night's events and stated emphatically that she did not want anything of that 
nature to happen again (R. 309). The following month, in September, 1976, she 

and Morris went to New York for a tennis tournament and to take one of the 

c:hi 1 dren to a spec:i a 1 sc:hoo 1 in Boston (F : ;. 310) . 0ver Maureene' s ob jections, 

Morris insisted upon visiting Deborah Levy and Michael Gaas (R. 310). While the 
group was h avi ng c! 1 nn er together i n a r est aur ant Maur eene, r eturn i ng from the 
restroom, overheard Morris and Deborah making plans to e together the following 
afternoon (R. 315). Later when confronted with this Morris admitted having such 
plans (R. 320). Later in a conversation among the four of them, Morris stopped 
the conversation in the middle and said to Michael Gaas "I’ve ..just got to tell 
you this because I feel bad about it. I want to tell you that Deborah and I were 

planning to go off this afternoon and make love and I just want to tell you 

that." (R. 322). This ernbarassed Maureene and made her furious (R. 324). Gas 

responded that if that's what Morris as here to do he should just get up and go 
do it, following which Morris and Deborah got up and went into the bedroom where 
they remained for about forty-five minutes (R. 325, et seq). While they were 
gone Maureene had sexual intercourse with Michael (R. 326). Afterward Morris 

left the apartment, retu.rned in about thiirty rni nutes and hi t Michae 1 in the f ace 
(R. 327). 

E. Paniel_a__Horowi_tz_. I n t h e s p r i n g o f 197 7 M o r r i s p lan n e d a t r 1 p ' t o K e n t u c: k y 
a n cj i n v i. t e ci M a u r e e n e t a g o w i t h h i. m, 


pane !" 











c I * » • 

k n o w i n g t h a t s h e c: ou 1 d n o t g 0 b e c: au s e a h 0 w ,i n r 
□ v e r M a u r e 9 n e 1 s o b j e c t ion, h e t o a k with h i m : , o n h i s 
1 awyer wor k i ng f or the Souther n Pov0rty Law Cen 1 0r 
drove the motorcycle and she rode behind, him from, 
they were gone tor four or five days, during which 


ehearsal for a play (R. 330). 

motorcycle Pamela Horowitz, a 
at that: time (R. 331). He 

Montgomery -to Kentucky, and 
they shared the same hotel 


accommodations (R. 331-332). 


F. Chari i e Spri nqman (homosexual) . 0n August 11, 1973, Maureene and Morris 31 
tenth anniversary, they were having dinner at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, 
D.C., and afterward had drinks in the bar (R, 333, et seq). In the bar, they saw 
Charlie Springrnan, who Maureen© knew as a Regional Coordinator for the National 
Endowment of the- Arts (R. 335). She had told Morris that Springman was gay, but 
Morris had never met him. When they saw him in the bar, Morris suggested 
inviting him over for a drink (R, 335). After a while, to Maureene's suprise, 
Morris suggested that Charlie come up to the room with them (R. 336). In the 

room, they drank wine and talked, and Morris unbuttoned his shirt, to the waist 
(R. 336). Charlie tried to leave several times but Morris wouldn’t "let' .him- (R. • 
337). Finally Morris proposed that Chariiespend the night with them (R. 337). 

Mrs. Dees protested, and put on her robe and nightgown to go to bed (R. 337-338). 
Soon Charlie and Morris were in the bed naked, with Maureene in the. middle with 
her gown o n (R. 338-339). Sprinqman anci M a rris hugged and kissed, and Morris 
t r i e d t o g e t C h a r lie t o h a v e r e 1 a t i o n s ‘ w i t h M a u r 9 e n e, b u t S p r i n g m a n w a s 

physi ca3.1 y unab 1 e t□ bec:ause he was not i n t erested (R. 340). In f a c t, no one 

made any effort to have sex with Mrs. Dees during this incident (R; 341). 

Springrnan kissed Morris’ penis, and in fact, Morris complained that he bit him 
an d t. h at 1 1 h ur t (R. 3 40) , Mor r i s k i s s e d Sp r i n g man on Sp r i n g man' 5 penis (R. 

341) . A f t e r a b o u t t h i r t y m i n u t e s t h e y a 3. 1 w e n t t o sleep ( R . 3 42) . When M a u r e e n e 

woke up the next morning, Morris was gone (R. 342), but Springrnan was still 

asleep in the bed. After five or ten minutes Morris returned and found Maureene 
crying. He apologized for the incident and said that he would not let anything 
like that happen again (R. 343). Morris denies parts of this episode, he admits 
its essential features: Morris admits that he invited Springrnan to the room (R. 
1571); that Maureene put on a nightgown and robe and got into bed (R. 1537); th'at 
Morris got into bed with nothing but his underclothes on (R. 1575); and that 

Springrnan got in the bed naked (R. 1590). 

6. MorrijK_Step-Dauqht er . Ho 11 y Buck, Maureene' s daugh1 9 r by a previ ous 

marriage, is eighteen years old (R. 728). She was seven years old when her 
mother and Morris married, and she has lived with them in the house at Mathews 
from then until the separation (R. 728). Holly testified that, in the.summer of 
1977, Morris attempted to molest her in the following incident (R. 729): One 

night Maureene and Morris were sitting drinking wine and discussing a case Morris 
was trying. She was with them. Around eleven or twelve o'clock Maureene went to 
bed and Holly stayed up with Morris discussing the case. Morris kept offering 
Holly wine, some of which she accepted. At Morris' suggestion, they went outside 
to the pool, and he suggested that they go for a swim, but Holly was tired and 

declined (R. 731). She went to her room and then went into the bathroom. 

Looking out the window, she saw Morris in the bushes beside the bathroom window 
looking in (R. 731). She said "Morris, is that you", but he said nothing and ran 
away (R. 732). Two months later, she was. asleep one night and Morris entered her 
room from El lie's room, through the bathroom. he was in his underwear and he sat 
on the bed where H o 13. y was 3. y i. ng on her stomach f aci ng away f r om the door . He 
touched her on the back and woker her up. He told her that he had brought her, a 
present, and he presented her with a vibrator. He plugged it in and said he had 












brought it to her. He proceeded to ri.ib it *on her,.back and said. - u Let me show you 
hi o w t o u s e 11" 1 (R, 7 33) , S h e s a i cl t hi a t. ’ s n o t n &£-& s s a r y , b u t h e s t a r t e cl t o p 1 a c e 
it between her legs when she raised her voice :and said no loudly. He then took 
the vibrator and left (R. 734). All he had on was a pair of bikini under wear- 
shorts (R„ 734). About two hours later, she had fallen back asleep and he came 
b a c: k i n (R. 735) . H e b r o u g h t t h e v i b r a t o r w i t h hi i m, p 1 u q g e d it in a n d said 

again, "Let me show you how to use it." He tried to show her" again by putting it 

between her legs, but she raised her voice again and he stopped. He took it and 
left (R. 635). She did not tell her mother about this incident until the 
separati on when t.hey movecl out. of the Mat.hews house i n the spri ng of 1979 (F:. 
736) . 

H. Horris 1 Future Dauqhter -i n-1 aw . Karen Sherman Dees . i s Morr i s ’ 

daughter-in-law. who is married to Morris-’ son Scooter (Morris, III) .345.), 

Before Karen and Scooter were married, when they were eighteen or nineteen, which 
was three or four years ago, an incident occurred on Mother’s Day at the family 
home in Mathews (R« 345). The Dees had Karen and Scooter to dinner at .the house, 

and they cooked out (R. 346) . Whi 1 e Scooter and Maur eene wer* e c 3. ean i n g up an d 

washing dishes, Karen and Morris went out to go swimming (R. 345). Five or ten 
minutes later. Maureens and Scooter started down the path toward the pool, with 
Maureens in front. As she accroached the gate, she could see Morris and Karen 
standing with their arms around each other with no clothes on, and Morris had an 
& r e c: t i o n. M a u r e e n e i m m e d i a t e 1 y t u r n e d a n cl t o 1 d S c: o o t e r that s h e cl i d n o t w a n t t. o 
go swimming and the two of them headed back to the house without Scooter having 
seen anything (R. 347). Later, Karen and Morris returned from the pool, fully 
dressed, and the group stayed in the den for a little while (R. 349). Morris got 
up and went to bed, and Maureene joined him a few minutes later. While lying in 
the bed, M a ure e n e 1 ao ked up a n d s aw th a t K aren h ad ent ere d t h e room (R. 349). 

She didn’t have any clothes on but had a towel or sheet wrapped around her (R. 

350). She came over and got in the bed on Morris’ side (R. 350). Nothing 1 

happened, but she remained there for about ten minutes, and eventually got up and 
left (R. 3 50- 351) . M o r r i s t o 1 d M a u r e e n e t h a t h e j u s t c o u 1 ci n ’ t u n d er s t a n d why she 
c ame in the room (R. 351). 

In 1974 and 1976, after Maureene had become aware of some of Morris’ 
infidelities, she had two brief sexual liasons; one with Charles Morgan, with 
whom she was co-starring in a Little Theatre production, ad the other with Steve 

Dent o n, w h o w a s v i s i t i n q i n M o n t; g o rn e r* y f a r a t e n n i s t: o u r n a m e n t. 


IV. ARGUMENT 

A. The Trial Judge Plainly And Palpably A bu sed.His D iscretion 

If the trial judge’s decree is allowed to stand, Morris will have succeeded 
in discarding his wife of eleven years at an unheard of bargain cost. If she 
receives it, Maureene’s "alimony-in-gross" wi11 cost Morris ex act 1y three percent 
of his to tal wealth, or about one-half o f hi s income for one year, and it will be 
fully tax deductible. The judge has made it entirely possible .that he will not 
e v e n h a v e t o p a v t h a t. A 3. t h o u g h t h e t r i a 1 j u ci g e d e n o m i n a t e d h i s $ 120.000 award 
as "alimony-in-gross" he then granted Morris the election (which, unsurprisingly, 
has been exercised) to pay this amount in monthly installments of $2,000 each for 
five years< terminab1e in the event M aureene remarries. (Although she forfeits 
t h e a w a r ci i f s h e r e rn a r r i. e s, M a u r e e n e ’ s e s t a t e r e c e i v e s t h e b a 3. a n c e d u. e if she 

dies) . Bot h the amount .and_t he te rms_of__t h 1 s _arbi tr a ry_-award - constit ute _a 

p a 1 p a b 1 e a n d o r o s a b u s e o t ci i s c r e 11 o n b v t h e t r 1 a 1 -i u ci qe. 

In the first place, if the trial court concluded that alimony-in-gross was 

















appropriate under thee circumstances, it was arbitrary and un-fair -for him to then 
convert the award to periodic: alimony by providing that it would be lost in the 
event of the wife's remarriage. Periodic alimony is normally unlimited as to 
amount but it is subject''to the disadvantage of being terminable upon death or 
r e m a r r i age * A1 i m o n y - i n - g r o s s o n t he o t h e r h a n d i s e x p r e s s 1 y 1 i mi t e d in an) o unt, 
but has the advantage of not being subject to termination because of some future 

event such as death or remarri age. The tri al_court_i_n_the_prese nt cas e_ ha s 

denied Mau reens the ad van tage s of eith e r,_and ha s gi ven her,the disadvantag es_ of 

both, (and the award has been rendered taxable to Maureene and deductible to 
Morris). There is absoslutely no logic’in providing that Her ‘ "alimo'ny-in-gross" 
shall be terminated upon* remarri age but shall be paid in full upon her death. In 
adopting this unusual provision, we assume the Court was thinking of the 
children's interests, but this is not the purpose of alimony. She needs: the 
mensy whi1e she is 1iving. 

Even more arbitrary and unreasonable than the terms is the unconscionably 
smal I amou nt: of the alimony award. Assuming she dies, or lives unmarried for 
five years, Maureene (or her e s t ate) will recei ve $ 120,000, whi ch i s exact 1 y 
three percent of Morris' total estate of $3,367,029 (R, 1256, Def. Ex. 86, 87). 

It is about one-half of Morris' income for one year (PI. Ex. 76-79). T hi s_token 

al l pwance.under t he circums tances of thi s case f 1 i es _i_n_the_ fac e_of_ al 1 _the 

factors upon which Alabama courts have traditionally_based_awards_of_alim any . 

Morris will contend that the normal, alimony standards do not apply to hi's estate 
because of the terms of the new alimony statute, i.e.. Act Number 79-486, Reg. 
S e s s. 1 ? 7 9, b x e m p t i n g f r a m c o n s i. ci e r a t i. o n t h e H u s b a n d' s p r o p e r t y a c: q u i r e d p r i o r t a 
the marriage. However, as we will show in a subsequent section of this brief; the 
exceptions to that provision render it inapplicable to Morris' estate, and the 
present alimony award must be judged in the light of the traditional standards 

which have been f o11 owed by the A1 abama c: ourts f or many years. The _ap pl ication 

of each., of. these . tradi t i_qnal standards to the present case i ndi cates that if 


M a ureen e is e n t i t led . 

to any alimony at all 

(and 

the trial iudqe found that 

she 

is), she is entitled 

t o c o n s i d e r a b 1 y m o r e 

..tbilCL. 

t h e p i 1.1 a n c e w h 1 h t h e t r i a 1 

■iudqe 


saw fit to grant. 

These factors are numurated in the case of So uth v._Smith, So. 16 1235 (Ala. 

1979). and they can be enumerated as follows: 

1. The economic circumstances of both husband and wife. 

2. T h e p a r t i e s' f u t u r e p r o s p e c: t s. 

3. The parties' stnadard of living during their marriage and their 
potential for maintaining or of exceeding that standard after their 
divorce. 

4. The parties' ages, sex, health and the length of their marriage, 

5. T h e s o u r c e o f t h e i. r* c o m m o n prop e r t y. 

6. The conduct of the parties with reference to the case of divorce. 

In Reynolds v. Rey no lds . 376 So.2d 732 (Ala. 1979), The Court of Appeals 
reversed the trial court descision in setting the wife's alimony with 
reservations. 

Af ter enumerating the traditiona1 factors, the Court of Appea1s in Rev on1d s 
r e a c: h e ci t h e s e c: o n c 1 u s i. a n s: 


"Notwithstanding the short length of the marriage, i.e. 


f i ve 



































years, the amount awarded to the wi iflJ Com the estate of the 
husband amounted to less than two p^/voent of his net estate. 
The wife was awarded $2,500 as alimony gross, $10,000 from 
thi e sa 1 e of a wat er f r on t 1 ot, an d an au.t omobile, par* t of t h e 
cost of which was paid for by the trade-in of an automobile 
she owned prior to the marriage. 

A1 s o. 11 s hi o u 1 d b e n o t e d t. h a t t h e h o u s e t h e p a r t i e s b u i 11 a n d 
f u r n i s h e d d u r i n q t h e i r m a r r i. • a g e, a n d w h i c h w a s v a 1 u e ci b e t w e e n 
$ 120, 000 a n d $ 140, 000 w a s g i v e n t o t h e h u s b a n d. T h & w 1 f e 
r e o e i v e d n o t h 1 n q f r o rn t h i s m a r i t a 1 a s s e t. 

After a careful consideration of all the evidence, inc l udi ng 
the shortnes s of th e marriag e, it is the op.inion af this 


court that the 

awar d 

to the wife as alimony 

in oross 

and 

pr op#rtv til vi m 

on of 

less than two percent of 

the estate • 

■of 

the husband is 

total 1 

V i n a d e q u a t e a n d a m o u n t s 

to an abuse 

of 


t h e t r i a 1 c aur t 7 s d i sc:r e t i an. 


The case of Smith v, Smith, 369 So.2d 1235 (Ala. 1979), in analogous to the 
present case in important ways and the principles expressed there are important 

here. First, the court made clear that the ore_t enu s rule and its attendant 

presumptions will not prevent appellate courts from reversing the trial court's 
alimony award where the record discloses that the trail court/s discretion was 
plainly abused, observing as follows: 

. . in those instances where the record before the 
appe 1 .1. a t e c our t d i s c 1 oses that th e tr i. a 1 c our t 7 s d i s c r et i on 
in a matter was plainly and palpably abused, the ore tenus ...! 

rule does not prevail. Based on an examination of the 
c: i r c: u m s t a n c e s o f t h e p a r t i e s i n v o 1 v e d i n t h i s c: a s e a h d t h e 
v a r i o u s f a c: t o r s r e 1 e v a n t; t h e r e t o, w e a r e p e r s u a d e d t h a t t h e 
trial court abused its discretion in the division of the 
parties 7 property« Suc c in c11 y stated, we find tha t the t ria l . 
court f ail ed to award the w i fe a_suffi c ien t_ amo unt_of_ the 

husband 7 s prop erty. 1 ' 

The Court in Smi_th observed that the husband was a man of substantial wealth: 
that his adjusted gross income during recent tax years was never less that 
$72,000; that his net worth at the time of the parties 7 divorce as approximately 
$1.7 million dollars; that as a result of the husband 7 s wealth the parties 
enjoyed a high standard of living throughout their marriage; that the husband's 
future prospects and potential for maintaining that standard were excellent due 
to the diversity and value of his financial holdings; and that the wife's future 
prospects and potential for maintaining her former standard of Irving were not as 
bricjht as those of her ex-husband. The Court reached these conclusions: 






















"Basc! on r ea 1 est. at e appr ai sa 1 s as we 11 as , v $, . consider at. i on of t he hu?!b aryd' s. 

actual interest in various property, a certified public accountant-testified that 
the real estate holdings; of the husband had a fair market value of almost $1,7 
million dollars. Moreover, the testimony‘review by this Court demonstrates the 
husba n d' s n e t w o r t h b e t w e e n $826,000 a n d $ 1, £?00, 000, Despite these facts, < the 
wife received as her portion of the property division, property which was roughly 
valued as $150,000, Using the figure most favorable to the husband regarding his 
net worth, the $150,000 awarded the wife in terms of a property division 
r epr esen t ed on 1 y 18 per c: en t. o f the hu?;b a n d' ?; t o t a 1_ estate. '' 


T hi e C o u. r t w e n t o n t o f i n d t h a t a propert y div ision of between 20 and_50 pe r cent 

of the hu?•• b and ? ?: e?;• t.ate wa s -iusti f i ed , and i t i ncreased the trial court ? s award 
by $250,000. 

In Shirley v._S h i r 1 ey, 350 So.2d 1041 (Ala. 1977), this Court reversed the 

trial court and greatly increased the wife's alimony award based upon these 
ci rcumstanc.es: 


"It is clear that the distinguished trial judge, in the 
matter now before this court, relied heavily on the aspect of 
the wife's conduct. 11 is equal 1y c1 ear that there is amp1e 
evidence that her conduct in large measure caused the 
marriage to fail. However, the fact remains that the parties 
were married for 10 years, the wife having married the 
husband when she was 16 years old", that the wife during this 
time performed normal household duties? that she was a good 
mother; that she has no marketable skill; that she has only a 
high school education; that she has some slight psychiatric: 
or emotional problem. 


On the other hand, the husband is a prosperous, industrious 
young business man. His income is over $100,000 a year; he 
h a ?; $ 171,000 i n s a v i n g s; i n d e b t e d n e s s t h e r e o n o f 

a p p r a x i. m a t e 3. y $80,000; his h e a 11 h i s a p p a r e n 11 y g o o d; h i s 
prospects in life are good." 


It is appropriate to: apply the facts of the Dees case to the 
recoani.zed factors and principles enu.merated above: 


traditional1y 


3.. The Conduc t Q f The Parties 
With Preference To The Cause Of Divorce 


E v e n t h o u g h t h e c o u r t s hi a v e hi e 1 d t h i s f a c t o r t a b e a signific a n t one in 

assessing the adeqnancy of alimony, and even though well over one-half of the 

test i mony i n the t.r i a 1 c:ourt c:onc:erne c! the c:onduct of the parties, the trial 
judge carefully avoided making any reference to this subject in his 

otherwise-lengthy findings of fact. Having concluded that he wished to decide 
the case in favor of Morris Dees, it is entirely understandable why the trial 
judge omi 11ed any ref erance t a the parti es' conduc:t, bec:uase M orris Dees' 
co nduct in this mar ri ag e cannot withstan d scrutin y in th e_l,jg,ht _of._ day . Even 

under the permissive attitudes of the 1980's, the course of conduct' by Morris 
Dees revealed in this record must be described as barbaric. It is not contended 
that Maureene's conduct is without blemish, but her failings pale into 





















insignifigance beside Morris” catalog of sexual, excess and perversion. Morris is 
c: 1 e a r 1 v e s t o p p e d f r o m f i n q e r - p o i n t i n g. , v ,,. 

The holdings o-f this Court advise us to, examine "the conduct o-f the parties 
wi th r e fe renc e t o the c au se of divorce. '' Smith, supra. Acc:ording 1 y, we are to 
put aside all of Morris' conduct prior to 1977, and to omit further discussion of 
Dianne Hicks, Cathy Bennett, Judith Rogers, Deborah Levy, Pamela Horrowitz, the 
homosexual Charlie Springman, Morris' step-daughter Holly Buck, and Morris' 

•f u t u r e d a u g h t e r -- i n -1 a w K a r e n She r m a n D e e s. I n s t e a d it i s a p p r o p r i ate to c o n s i d e r 
Morris' absolute refusal (or, if his own testimony is believed, his inability) to 
give up his permanent affair with Vicki Booker McSaha which started in August, 
1977, and had not ended when the trial of this case took place. This woman 
became Morris Dees' second wife in all but name: She divorced- her husband, 
following which Morris supported her up until the trial of this case, by paying' 
her an averagge of $2,000 per month. (Ironically, this is the same amount which 
the trial judge has awarded Maureene, if she remains single for five years, who 
was the v icti m of the arrangement). Morris gave Vicki a low-interest * loan to 
enable her to purchase a home, (a benefit the trial judge refused to provide for 
Maureene). Morris drove to Birmingham two or three times a week and spent more 
than half of his time with her. He took her and her family on public excursions, 
and even took her to the White House on the occasion of the Egypt-Israel Treaty 
signing. When Morris requested a reconci1iation, Maureene readily agreed, only 
to I earn late r t hat he ha d resumed the atf air t w o weeks after mak ing solemn 

protrii se s to th e cont.rary. 

At this point Maureene had two alternatives: (1) She could accept the 
arrangment and permi t Morr.1 s to have bot:h of his w o men, or (2). sh m c o uId seek a 
divorce. f r or a period of years she had tried to save her -marriage by ignoring 
Morris' sexual escapades. But Vicki McGaha was no passing "escapade". Maur ee ne 
was now presented with an'entirely different_situation which no human being with 

an ounce of self-respect could possibly accept,_She_was_1 iteral 1 v forced_tp_ 

se ek d ivorce. W e r e si p e c: t f u 11 y s u b m i t t h a t M a u r e e n e h a d e v e r y r i g h t to seek a 
divorce under these curcumstances and to expect that she would be permitted to 
retain a reasonab1e part of her prior standard of 1iving and financial securiity. 
Having been thrust aside by Morris in favor of another woman, it is 
u n c o n s c i o n a b I e f a r M a u r a e n e, r a t h e r t h a n M o r r i s, t o s u f f e r t h s a d v e r s e f i n a n c i a 1 
consequences. 

W h e n a d v i s e d o f M a u r e e n e' s d e c: i s i o n t o 1 e a v e h i m a n d s e e k a d i v o r c e, M o r r i s 
r e a 11 z e d i: h a. t h e m u s t i. m p r o v e h i s 1 e g a 1 p o s i t i o n , a n d h e c y n i c a 3.1 y s e t o u t t a 
e n s n a r e M a u r e e n e i n a s i m p 1 e b u t r u t h 1 e s s t r a p. H e f i r s t a 11 e m p t e. cl t o i n d tic e 
her to sign agreements which would have exonerated his past conduct, while at the 
same time encourageing her to have whatever relationship she might wish with 
other men. Morris Dees' entire career attests to his salesmanship ability, and 
it is not difficult to understand how Maureene was duped. Her marriage' was in a 
shamble, her pride was shattered, she was being publicly hum!1ibated, she was 
about to be embroiled in litigation, and she was being urged by Morris to seek an 
outlet with other men. Maureene's dilemma is best described by Morris himself: 
P laintiff's E x h i b i t 9 5 i s a 1 e 1.1 e r w h i c h M o r r i s w r o t e to Vic k i in e a r 1 y J a n u ary, 
soon after spending several days with Vicki in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl 
game (R, 1455.) 


p 



















Dearest Vickie 


Its 12:00 p.m. and I sit here, unable to sleep, thinking 
about you. I enjoyed talking to you. tonight. Our days 
together were so wonderful. 

Maureens came and I was so at peace. When 1 7 m with you, it 
makes things easier. She was so happy to spend a day with 
m o - a ]. 1 a 1 o n e a n d a w a y f r o m t h e h o u s e. 3 i n c. e y o u a n cl I met, 

M au.!" e e n e a n d I h a v e d on e v e r y 1 i 111 e t a g e t h er, Some 11 m e s I 
fee 1 for her because I have re 1 agated hier to bei ng a 1 one-"to 
b e i n g b u s y w i t h p r o j e c t s - a n d f r o m b e i n g with me . . . . 11 


I n 

private 


thi i 
lift 


state of mind Maureene thought she could start rebuilding her 


: : h e in a d e t h e m i s t a k e o f f o 11 o w i n q M o r r i s r 


ample and advice; 


own 

she 


sought physical 

sol ace 

with a man. 

Whateve 

r. judgment one .makes 

of Maureene, 

, it 

must be concede 

d that 

it was not 

M a ure 

ene 7 s conduct that 

terminated 

thi 5 ; 

marriage, it wa 

s Morri 

s 7 Maureene 7 

s error 

wi th Brian 0 7 Daugher 

ty was snot 

the 

cause of this d 

ivorce, 

but one of 

its 

s 1 d e-ef fec t s. Wh en 

Morris and 

his 


p r i v a t e -- e y e j u m p e d o u t o f t h e h o t e 1 b a t hi r o o m w i t hi t h e i r c a m e r a s, t h e y revealed 
much more about Morris Dees than about Maureene, and we are shown the depths to 
which Morris will stoop in order to gain some small advantage^ for himself. The 
hotel room "agreement, by which Maureene was coerced into agreeing to give up her 
child, is the most vivid possib1e evidence of the character of the person 

Maureene has endured for eleven years'. Morris 7 lawyers had the good judgment 
not t o t ry t o enforc e t his doc ume n t. 

If "the conduct of the parties with reference to the cause of divorce" is to 
be anything more than a meaningless phrase, the lower court's alimony award must 
b e r e v e r s e cl. It is a clearly pu niti ve_d ecree ',_w hich pun i shed, the wrong person. 

(a) Even I f the Parties Were Equally At Fault, 

T h e F : ' r e s e n t D e c: r e e i s I ri cl e f e n s i b 1 e 


It: 


our stronq1v-he1d v1ew that Morri 


misconduct overshadows and far 
outweighs any mistakes that Maureene has made. However, in the event thi.s Court 
should adopt a different view and should conclude that the parties are equal 1y at 

f au 11 (c:ertai n 1 y no one c:ou 1 d c: o nc 1 ude that Morr i s i s 1 ess _ cul pabl e than 

Maureene). then we offer these comments: if both parties are equally guilty, the 
misconduct of each cancels that of the other, and any justification for punishing 
Maureene with the present unfair decree disappears. If we simply say "a plague 
on both sides", and let the present decree stand, Morris has succeeded in 
discarding a wife cheaply. The parties 7 mutual misconduct, if that be the case, 
should estop each from profiting from the wrong-doing of the other, so that the 
case can be governed by the o the r traditional factors for determining alimony. 
If the fau11 issue is thus e1iminated, the tria1 will show, 
in this case„ this court 7 s tradi tiona 1 a 1 imony standards 
r e t a i n s o m e p o r t i o n o f t h e s t a n cl a r cl o f 1 i v i n g a n d f i n a n c i a 1 
her*s before shie was put aside. The p re sen t d ecr ee a f f o r ds_ 


under the evidence 
entitle Maureene t cd 
security which was 
her no standard of 


1 i vi nq beyonc! the subsi st ence l eve 1 and provide 


no f inanci al stabi1ity or 


s p r i..i r i. t v w h a t s o e v e r*. 




















2. T he S ou rce Qf Their Pr opert y 

\ V f * 1 * 

As in many marriages, the -financial resources o-f this family were derived 
entire 1 y -from Morris' b l.i siness activi ties. Adm 111ed 1 y, Maureerie brought no 
separate? financial estate to the marriage. However, she brought other, equally 
1 mport an t asset s. 

Morris married his first wife, Beverly, prior to •qraduating from high 
school in 1955 (R. 1145). This wife of his empecunious youth was discarded in 
1968, after Morris had become a wealty man, and shortly thereafter, on August 
11 , 1968, he married Maureene. Morris sought and found a second wife whom he 
viewed as being better-suited to his improved status in the world. He wanted a 
wife who could provide glamour and sophistication, and he viewed Maureene as 
having these attributes. She as a striking woman in appearanc.#*. she was young, 
but mature, and her education was in the dramatic arts.(R. 250). She precisely 

fit Morris' needs as he reached for another rung in his climb to fame and 
fortune. And it cannot be disputed that Maureene -fulfilled to perfection her 

intended role (R, 699, et seq). It was after his marriage to Maureene that 

Morris consumated his negotiations with the Los Angeles Times Mirror for the sale 
of his company* Although he now attempts to minimize Maureene's participation in 
this transaction, she carried out her role perfectly. It is not contended that 
she contributed business judgement, but in- the important social functions with 
high-ranking executives and their wives from Los Angeles and New York, she was 
able to provide a social grace which was very important to Morris at' that time, 
whether he is willing to admit it now or not.(R« 272, et seq). Following the 

consumation of his transaction with the Times Mirror, Morris' status as a 

multimillionaire was confirmed (R. 276), and thereafter Maureene was an important 
factor in his enjoyment of his wealth. It was under Maureene's supervision that 
the modest ranch-style house which Morris and his first wife had built in Mathews 
in 1964 was transformed into a millionaire's estate. Two renovations costing 
a 1 m o s t $ 2 0 0, 000 w e r e c: a r r i e d o u t (R. 255, e t s e q > . U n d e r M a u r e e n e' s s u p e r v i s i o n, 
antiques, furnishings, and accessories now valued at over $150,000 (PI. Ex. 75) 
were acquired (R. 255). Maureene capably performed the duties that the lady of 
such a house should carry out. Maureene's competence and suitability as a mother 
has been conceded in these proceedings (R. 7,8). As Morris' activities shifted 
into the political area after the sale of Fuller & Dees, Maureene entertained, a 
wide variety of business, legal and political associates of Morris' (R. 269). 

T h i s e n t e r t a 1 n m e n t w a s n o t c: a t. e r e d, b u t w a s c o n d u c t e cl b y M a u r e e n e h e r s elf, w h o 
supervised servants and prepared food herself (R. 269), Houseguests thus 

entertained included the President's sister, Ruth Carter Stapleton; Bobby 

Kennedy; Joan Little; reporters for the New York Times and other major 

newspapers; legal associates; and other prominent names of the day (R. 269). 

M o r r i s w a s w e 11 p 1 e a s e d w i t h t h e m a n n e r i. n w h i r: h s h e c a r r i e d o n these social 
functions, and he complimented he frequently (R. 270) Maureene worked with 

Morris to plan parties and family activities, picnics, and out-of-town guests (R. 
705). If Morris couldn't attend a meeting and needed a representative, she would 
stand in for him (R. 750). The house was always decorated, and she could 
e f f e c t i v e 1 y e n t e r t a i n o n s h o r t n o t i c: e ( R. 707 ) . M a u r e e n e' s p r i n c i p a 1 activity 
outside the home was the Montgomery Little Theatre. She was very active in this 
organization and performed several starring roles with Morris' encouragement and 
ap p r ova1 (R. 430). Indeed, h e seemed q uite pr oud of h er ac c omp1ishments (R. 
430). Morris' pride in his wife's abilities extended to the point that, through 
his political contacts, she was appointed to the National " Council of the 
Endowments for the Arts (R. 430, et seq). Her qualifications made her eligible 








serves on 


{•or this board, and shie v*ias appointec! by F'resic! 0 nt. Car1 0 r anc! still 

t h a t b o a r d (. 4 31). 


In si-urnmary, a 11 hough Maure0n0 brought no {i nanci a 1 r0s ourc:0si- to thi s 
marriage, she made other equally Important contributions to the family and to 
Morris" success. She provided glamour and sophistication at a stage in Morris" 
1 if e wh e n th a t w as w hat he w an ted and n e ed e d- N ow t h at Mor ri s’ needs and 
o b j e c 11 v s s h a v 0 a p p a r 0 n 11 y s h i f 1 0 d, w 0 r 0 s p 0 c t f u 11 y u r g 0 t h a t h 0 s h o u 1 d • not b 0 
permitted to toss her aside with nothing. Her contributions to the marriage 
shou 1 d b0 r0cogni z 0d and sh0 shou 1 d b0 award0d a comm0sura 1 0 portion of his 
estate. . 


3. Th e Parties" Sta ndard of Living Duri ng The Marri ag e And 

_For Maintaining Or Exc eed ing T hat 

Standa rd Afte r Their Di vorce 

If this factor is to actually be accorded influence over the terms of the 
W i f 0 ’ s a 1 i m o n y, t h 0 1 o w 0 r c o u r t’ s a w a r d c a n n o t s t a n d. T h r o u g h o u t t h 0 i r m a r r i a g 0 
Morris and Maureerie Dees enjoyed a standard of living which some heads of state 
wou 1 cJ 0 nvyTh 0 y 1 i v 0 d on a pa 1 at i a 1 0 st a1 0 (D 0 f . FIx . 90-91) consi st i ng of a 

r i ch 1 y f urni shed home (P1. E. 10-2S; 57--68) su.rrounded by 210 acres (P1. Ex . 1) . 

T h 0 y h a c! 3 0 r v a n t s, 1 0 n n i s c: o u r t s, a 5 w i m m i n g p o o 1 , a n d s 0 v 0 r a 1 M e r c 0 d e s 

automobiles (PI. Ex. 46-56). Their Children attended the best schools. They 
traveled extensively in the United States and abroad (F:. 279). They socialised 
with leading political figures, and entertained them in the Dees home in Mathews 
(R. 269). they attended social functions’at the White House. During a typical, 
t w e 1 v e - m o n t h p e r i o d, i. e. , M a r c h, 1978 t h r o u q h M a r c h , 1979, t h e a c t u a 1 c h e c k s 

written for family expenses totaled $83,966.50, or almost $7,000 per month (PI. 

.Ex. 103: Def. Ex. 94), which amount includes no house or car payment. The family 

literally spent whatever it wanted to, whenever it wanted to. Morris told his 
Wife that they were in the top two percent in the nation in wealth, and that they 
c! i d n ’ t h a v 0 t o w o r r y a b o u t a n y t h i n g (R. 685) 

After the divorce, Morris of course remains a wealthy man, and will continue 
to life in any style he wishes. Maureene and her child however must shift into 
an entirely different world. The trial judge’s alimony award do es not even 
provide her with the a bi1 ity to acquire a.home, The two thousand dollars per 
month alimony, from which she must pay taxes of approximately $400 per month, 
terminates in five years. If the inflation rate over the next five years 
approaches that of the last five, the entire $120,000 award represents actual 
p u r c h a s i n g p o w e r o f a p p r o x i m at e 1 y o n e - h a.! f . o r on 1 y $60,000. T h e child s u p port, 
of course, terminates when El lie reaches her majority, in nine years. While she 
is receiving both alimony and child support, it is possible that Maureene an pay 

her taxes, rent a modest apartment, and meet the other necessary living expenses 

o f the f a m i 1 y, i f t h e y 1 i v e i n a n e x t r e m e .1 y f r u g a 1 a n d a u s t e r e m a n n e r. S u c h a 
si tuat i on i s enti re 1 y unnecessary. Moreover . Maureene wi 11 not be able to save 

a r i n v e s t a n y c f h e r a 1 i m o n y i n c o m e for t h e f u t u r e, a n d when rtjis_cut_ off _ sh e 

wil l_de left penni l ess. If she had been awarded some amount of lump-sum alimony, 

shie wou 1 d at 1 east have had thie opt i on of i nvest i ng i t ancl a11 9 mpt i ng to 1 i ve on 
the income and save the principal, but the terms of the lower court’s award do 
n o t e v e n e x t e n d t hi i s s m a 11 b e n e f i t. F : a r f r m m a 1 n t a i n i n g h e r s t a n cl a r cl a f 1 i v i n g 
during the marriage, Maureene and her family will barely survive,. If Morris had 
o n 1 y a m o cl e s t e s t a t e, s u c h a s i t u a t i o n w o u 1 d b e. u n d e r s t a n c! a b 1 y u n a v ai c! a b 1. e. . B u t 










i n v i e w o 4 M o r r i s: w e a • t h a n cl t h e c i, r c u m s; t a n c: -a g % o 4 t h e d i v o r c a. such a result • is 
simply i nsx cusab 1 e■ 

4. The Financial_Ci rc umatancaa Q f t h e- Parti es 

The Wife's financial circumstances are easy to summarize: She has nothing: 


no source o4 income, no property, no separate estate of any kind (R. 431). The 

husband is an extremely wealthy man, and there is no dispute about how much he is 
worth. By, hi s ow n calculations, he has a net worth of $3,867,02? 1 (Def. Ex. 86 
a n d 8 7 , R. 1252 , e t s e q) . 

M o r r i s 7 i n v e s t m e n t p o r t f o 1 i o a n d o t h e r e a r n i n g s p r o cl u c e t h e f o 11 o w i n g a n n u a 1 

income: 


1974 .... . .......... ___ $203, 063.00 (FT . Ex. 76) , 

1975 .. . . $154,964.50 (FT . Ex . 77) . 

1976 ... , „ . $204,201.50 (FT . Ex . 78) . 

1978 . $232,488.50 (PI. Ex. 79). 

Most of the foregoing income, i.e., approximately $163,000 (Def. Ex. 128), is 
derive from municipal and other bonds upon which Morris pays no income tax 
whatsoever. 

Thus, not only does the entire award of "alimony-in-gross" constitute a mere 


three percent of Morris'.net worth , the amount which he i.s requi.red to pay each 

year, i.e.. $24,000 per year, constitutes only ten pe rcent of his annu al income . 

T h e w h i o 1 g a w a r d i s a b o u. t o n e - h a 1 f of M o r r i. s 7 _inc ome for one y ear . The disparity 

between what Morris has and the pittance awarded to his wife of eleven years is 
brutally inequitable. The award could be increased five-fold and Morris would 
hardly notice the effect. There is no justification for the trial judge's 
a r b i t r a r i 1 v 1 o w a w a r d . 


‘Consistent with his decision favoring Morris, in his findings of fact the trial judge 
looked at the bottom line of Morris' 197? financial statement (Def. Ex. 86-87) and made a 
finding that his 1979 net worth was $2,937,252 (R. 157). Even Morris pointed out in his 
testimony that this figure included his real estate as cost , and that in order to get his 
true net worth, it would be necessary to add the increase in value of the land and 
improvements (R, 1254, et seq). Morris stipulated and agreed to accept Ed Auerbach, Jr.’s, 
appraisal of the current fair market value of the property (R. 231; 1256; PI. Ex. 37), 

This is Morris’ figure and is not a matter of dispute (R, 1256). Because of the judge’s 

error in this respect, the judge has overstated by a bout $1,000,000 (in paragraph 3 of his 

findings, R, 157) the am ount of decrease in Morris’ net worth between thj?_time of the 

mam age and , the time of the divorce. The actv.al decrease is shown by . Morris' own 

c alcula t ions at page 2, column 3 of Def. Ex. 8 7 . _The p oint is irrelevant howsvery because 

this decrease (which still leaves Morris an extremely rich man), was not the result of 
anything Maureens did or failed to do. It was principally the result of a decline in the 

price of Times Mirror stock due to unfavorable stock market conditions (R. 1259). . . 



































V 

5. T he Parti es 7 Futuio^- P r ospec ts 

Maureens? has not been gain-fully employed during the marriage (R. 430). The 
h i g h e s t s a 1 a r y w h i c h t h e r e c: o r d d i s c: 1 o s e =:• s h e h a s e v e r m a d e w a s $500 p e r m o n t h 
w h i c h s I"! s r e c e i v e d f r o m F u 11 e r L D e e s d u r 1 n g t h e b r i e f p e r i o d wh e n s h e w a s 
employed there prior to her marriage to Morris (R. 252, 430). Her college degree 
is Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dramatics, which hardly qualifies her to earn 
substantial income (R. 250). During the marriage, she did volunteer work in the 
Little Theatre with Morris- encouragement and approval (R. 430). She has no 

source of income, no separate estate, and owns no property whatsoever (R. 431’). 

During the marriage she an Morris started a business in Montgomery called the? 
Carriage Trade, which deals in antiques, women-s accessories, and clothes, 
because Morris wanted her to have something to do (R. 604). It has never yielded 
a profit or produced any income for her nor has she ever received a salary from 

it (R. 432, et seq). Indeed, it is a serious liability because she owes.debts to 

banks totalling $30,000 arising from this business (R. 602). Her future 

financial prospects can only be described as bleak. 

On the other hand, the "prospects" are that Morris Dees will continue to be 
a wealthy man, particularly since he has not been required to share any 
si i g n i f i c a n t. p o r t i o n o f h i s w e a 11 h w i t h h i s w 1 f e. 

6, T h e L e n q t h 0 f T h e M a r r i a q e 

M a u r e e n e a n d M o r r 1 s I) e e s m a r r i e d o n A u g u s t 11, 1968, w h e n s h e w a s 31 y ears 
old (R. 439). Thev were divorced eleven years later on September 26, 1979, when 
she was 42 years old. Although both parties had been married before, this 
marriage was in no sense a "secondary", or short-lived marriage. This marriage 
lasted only slightly less than Morris- first marriage, which lasted thirteen 
year s (R» p . 1145) . The pr esen t mar r .i ag e i s consi der ab 1 y 1 on ger than Maureene' s 
first marriage, which terminated after eight years (R. P. 250). Both parties 
were in the prime of their lives, and the marriage produced one child. There is 
nothing in the facts of the case relating to this factor whTch "supports the trial 
c o u r t • s m e a g e r a w a r d. 

B, Morris De es'_Entire Estate Has Been Used Re gularly 

For The_ Common, Bensf i t Of The P a rt i es 

To sustain the grossly unfair alimony award, of the trial court, Tt will * be 
n e c e s s a r y f o r M o r r i s t a a r g u e t h e a p p 1 i c a b i 1 i t y □ f A1 a b a m as n e w a .1 i m o n y s t a t u t e, 

as amended bv Act. Numbr 79-486, Reg. 8e ss . 1979, which provides that, in 

determining the amount of alimony and property division due a spouse who- has -no 
separate estate, 

. . the judge? may not take into consideration any property 
acquired prior to the marriage of the parties or by 

i n h e r i t a n c e o r g i f t unl ess the trial_court.._f i nds _from_ the 

e y id e n c e t hat s uc h_proper tv,_or..jjicgms_pr educed_by_such 

prqpertv,_has been used regularly for the co mm on_b ene fit of 

t h e p a r t i e s d u r i n q t h e m a r r i a q e . ' 1 

In an effort to make the foregoing provision applicable to Morris' estate, 
the trial court made the following finding of fact (R. 157): 












c' l • * 1 

"All of the assets presently owned,.Joy. the husband have been 

shown by the testimony adduced in, this cause or to have_b een 

acquired in exchange for assets owned by the husband prior to 

the m a.rri age, 11 

What the court has reference to here is the fact that, at the time of 
Morris- marriage to Maureens, he owned substantially all of the stock of Fuller & 
Dees Marketing Group, Inc., which, one year afte r the m ar riage , he exchanged for 
stock in the Times Mirror Corporation, and he thereafter sold some of his Times 
Mirror stock and purchased still other securities, i.e., tax-exempt municipal 
bonds. Thus it is clear that Morris" pres entassets, consisting of Times Mirror 
stock and a portfolio of other securities (Def. Ex. 86), were not in fact 
ac:qui red pri or to the marri age, but r*epresent the frui ts of sal es, exchanges, and 

reinvestments of property a acquired prior to the marriage. We dispute he 
court’s interpretation of the statute, which explicitly provides that - the judge 
may not take into consideration any pr operty acqui red prior t o the m ar r iag e. If 
the legislature had intended to exclude the co-mingled fruits of reinvestments of 
property acquired before the marriage, it would have not been difficult to draft 
a statute which said that, but this was not done. The logical extension of the 
trial court’s view is that, in computing a spouse’s net worth for alimony 
p u r p o s p s , t h e c o u r t w i 11 d e d u c t f r o m t h a s p a u s e ’ s c u r r e n t„ n e t w or t h h i s net w o r t h 
at the time of the marriage, and base the alimony award upon the difference. 
This is n ot wha t t h e stat ute says, eit h er ex pr ess1y o r b y imp11cation, an d w e do 

not believe this was the intent of he legislature. We believe that the 

legislature intended to exclude only those specific assets which had thee 
c: h a r a c t e r o f h a v 1 n g a c t u all y b e e n r e c e i v e d b y t h e s p o u s e a s a g i f t, i n h e r i t a n c e, 
or by purchase prior to the marriage, and that the statute was riot.... intended to 
ap p1y t o s11 u a1 1 on s wher e a spouse has dispos ed of suc h specific ass e t s and has 

.co-ming.led the fruits of the sale with the rest of his estate. 

A c t ii a 11 y, h o w e v e r, the forego in g., issue.is secondary. E v e n a s s u m i n g t h a t w e 

are incorrect in this respect, and that the court’s construction of the statute 

i s correc:t, the court ha s chosen to ign ore one of the j m ost important pa rts of he 
statu te, i. e„ , the provi. si a n that even property ac:quired prior to the marri age is 

t abet a k e n i n t o c o n s i d e r a t ion if - sue h ^proper t y,_ or income* _pro duce d_by such 

property has been used regularly for the common benefit of the parties during the 

marriage . The trial court, although it made lengthy findings of facts on much 

1 ess imp ar tant su.bjects, chose to ig nore this 1 ssue comp 1 ete], y, and made no 

findings of fact on this question. The trial court’s silence is understandable, 
because the evidence clearly shows, and it is hardly disputed, that Morris’ real 
estate, his Times Mirror stock, his portfolio of other securities, anc! the income 
from such assets, were regularly used throughout the marriage for the common 
benefit of the parties and their family. By refusing to recognize these clearly 
established (and partially undisputed) facts, the trial court has attempted ,to 
prevent Maureene from sharing any part of the bulk of Morris’ estate, and in this 
r e s p e c t t h e t r i a 1 c o u r t c o m m i 11 e d s e r i o u s . e r r o r . T h e t r i a 1 c a u r t h a v i. n g f a i 1 e d 
to do so, we wi 11 summari ze the eviclenc:e to t.his effect. 


















1 . T h e R e a 1 Ea1 0 


The part of Morris’ estate which was meet obviously used tor the common 
fa e n ef i t o f t h e p a r ties i s t h e m a r 11 a 1 r e s i d 0 n c e k n o w n a s R o 11 i n q Hill s R a n c h, i n 
Mathews. Alabama. This home, together with the 210 acres upon which it is 

1 ocated, i s r 0 f err 9 d to as the ' 1 Home P1 ac:e 1 ' and i s desribed i n detail in Ed 

Auer b ac h ’ s ap pr a i sa 1 (F’ 1 . Ex. 1) , wh i. ch va 1 uss i. t at $415,500« When the parties 
married on August 11, 1968, they immediately went to live there, the Ranch being 
a portion of the real estate which the court -found to have been owned by Morris 
p r i o r t o t h e m a r r i a g e (R. 252) . T h e p a r t i e s c o n t i n u e cl t o r e s i d e a t t h e R oiling 
Hills Ranch throughout the course of their eleven year marriage until they 

separated in March, 1979. While they livedd at Mathews, their daughter Ellie was 
born (R. 2156), and the three of them lived at the Ranch, along with Morris’ two 
c:hi 1 dr en f r om a pr i or marr i age ancl Maur eene ’ s two chi 1 dr 9 n f r om a pr i or marr i a'de 
(R. 255). 

When Maureene first moved out to the property, the house was a basic farm 
house (E. 255: 707). There were very little furnishings left in the house after- 
Morris’ first wife, Beverly, moved her furniture out (R. 1729). Morris and 

Maureene during their marriage proceeded to expand and add on to the house. 
There were two additions to the house; the plans for the first addition were 

completed on March 3, 1969 (Def. Ex. 88). The first addition added a playroom, 

s t o r a g e a r e a, s i 11 i n g r o o m, t w o fa e c! r o o m s, a n cl a b a t h room (Def. E x « 88). These 

additions cost approximately $25,000 (R. 260). The cost of the original house 
w a s o n 1 y $30,00 0 (R. 2 60) . 

The second renovation was in 1971, and Robert Cole, architect, designed the 
additions. The second addition was extensive, and the whole house was virtually 
t o r n cl o w n a n d h u i 11 c v e r (R. 257) , W a 11s w e r e t o r n o u t, all t h e w i n cl o w s w ere 

removed, new entrances were made, six rooms were added, swimming pool and tennis 

court were added, three bedrooms were added, two porches were added, and a new 
shingle roof was put on (R,. 257; Addenda to Ed Auerbach's Appraisal; PI, Ex. 1). 
T h e p a r t i e s a 1 s o a d d e d a p a v e d r o a cl a n cl b i q f r o n t g a t e s (R. 258) , The sec. o n d 

r e n a v a t i o n s w e r e c o m 0 1 s t e d i n .19 71 < D e f . E x . 8 9) , a n d c o s t a p p r a x 1 m a t e 1 y $ 16 0,000 
(R, 260). 

E d A u e r b a c h s t a t e cl 1 n h i s a p p r a i s a 1 o f t h a H o m e P1 a c e 2 

11 1 h e in a j d r i m p r o v e m e n t o n t h e H o m e P1 a c e i s t h e e x t r 0 m e 1 y 
b e a u t i f u 1 a n d q u a 1 i t y c: 0 n s t r net e d r e s 1 d e n c: e a f t h e o w n e r . 

Floor plans are included in the appraisal report and show 
h o u s e a n cl a m e n i t i e s, T h e q u a 1 i t y o f c o n s t r u c: t i o n i s • 

outstanding as is finish, design, and condition. There are 
no known repairs. The house itse 1 i: ::ontains approximate 1 -y 
6« 020 squ ar e f eet of 1 i vi ng ar ea, 744 squar e -f eet of scr eened 
porch, 197 feet of master bedroom screened porch, 282 square 
feet side entry, 917 square feet front terrace plus a pool 
approximately 20’ x 40’, surrounded by a walled terrace, 
g r o s s a r b a , 1 n c 3. u d 1 n g p o o 3.. s o m e 2,8 61 f e e t, a c a r p o r t 

storage and cabana combination bu 11 cling c;ontaining 782 square 
f e e t, a .1 a n d s c a p e d r e a r t e r r a c e o f t t h e h o u s e ’ s s c r e e n e d 

porch of 2,548 square feet plus a 55' x 121’ tennis court. 

An asphalt drive leads to the house from Haynev.il le Road. 

L o c a t e c! i m m e cl i a t e 1 y i n f r o n t o f t h e h o u s e i s a v e r y 
attractive lake. The subject house is modern \n all 



respects, be i n q centr a 11 y heatecR ,. vi and ai r-cond i. t i oned. 

Quality of construction is extreme!y high, design is 
0 x c: e .1.1 a n t, a n d i t p r e 5 e n t s a v e r y: »h a n d b o m e a p p s a r a n c e. I h e 
n i a i n h o u s e a r e a c o n t a i n s s i x b e d r o o m s, f o u r b a t h s, s t u d y, 

1 i v i n cj r o o m, d i n i n g r o o (n, k i t c h e n , d e n , b r © a k f a s t r o o m, g a m e 
r o o m, u t i 1 i t y r o o m p 1 u s a s e p a r a t e a p a r too n t w h i c h c. o n t a i n s a 
m a i d' s b © d r o o m, 1 i v i n g r o o m , a n d b a t h r o o m. 11 h a s © n t r a n c 0 

f o y e • < a s i c! e t o y e r, h a 11 s, 1 a r g s s c r e e n e cl p o r c: h, w a 11 e d P e a r • 
t e r r a c ©, f 1 a g - s t o n © f r o n t e rr a c e, s w i m m 1 n g p o o 1, 
c: a r p o r t / c a b a n a, a n d t e n n i s c: o u r t s, " 

This is tha home where Maureens resided during her eleven year marriage to 
Morris, The uncontroverted evidence compels the conclusion that the home place 
and surrounding acreage, which the court found were owned by the Husband prior to 
the marriage, were used regularly -for the common benefit of the parties' during 
t h e i r m a r r i a g e. T h i s r e s i d e n c e , a r i t s e q u 1 v a 1 e n t v a 1 u e , s h o u 1 d h a v e b e e n 
a w.a r d e d t o M a u r e e n e, 


2. Morr is~ Ot her.Assots 

In add i. 11 on to the 210 acr e home pi ace di iscussed above. Morr i. s • other a bs ets 
at the time of the divorce consisted of (1) a bloc of Times Mirror stock, (2) a 
portfolio of other securities consisting principally of tax-free municipal bonds, 
and (3) two other parcels of real estate known as the Square D Ranch and the 

F'iney Grove Place (Def. Ex. 86 and 87; PI. Ex;. 1). Fo r the peri od_1968_th roug h 

1 975, i t i s not cont ended that M orris had.any signif icant in come -other _th an hi s 

i ncome from thes e assets . Morris does attempt to make such a contention with 
regard to the years after 1975, and therefore we will discuss these time periods 
separately. 


1968 through 1975 


At the time of his marriage to Maureens, Morris was President, Chairman of 
the Board, and 8?"/. stockholder of Fuller & Dees (R. 1152, 1238), and there is no 
Contention that his family was not supported from his general business operations 
in connection with Fuller & Dees and any other assets he owned at the time of the 
marriage, including his real estate. After Morris sold Fuller 9 Dees in 1969, 
there is no contention that he did not continue to support, his family out of the 

i n c o m e f r o m h s i n v e s t m e n t p o r t f o 1 i o, i n c: 1 u d i n g h i. s T i m e s M i r r o r s t o c \ ■: a n d r e a 1 

estate. In l?" 7 ] , Morris founded the Southern Roverty Law Center.,, but he received 
n d sa 1 ar v f r a m x t unt i 1 0ctober, 1975. I n Morri s ? ftnswer s to I nter rogater i es 
(PI. Ex, 84), he states; 

" (From) 1971 (year of i ncorpor at i on o f C;enter) unti 1 Qctober , 

19 75. t hi e Hu sfe a n cj w a s e m p 1 o y e d b y t!e C e n t e r f u 11 t i m e but 

recei ved no sal ary. The Husband donated his services-*to the 
Cen tar . T h » Husb an d r sc e i \/ed n o t ax b en ef i t t r o m t h e 

c o n t r i b u t i o n o f h i s s e r v i c: e s t o t ! i e C e n t e r. " 

During this period of time when Morris was not being paid by the Center, 
Morri s anci Maureene renovated thiei r house at Mat.hews, f or a c;ost of approx i mate 1.y 

$160,000 (R. 260). Morris sold 2,000 shares of Times Mirror stock on May 25, 

1972, f o r $ 110, 39 2,02 w h i c: h hi e t e s t i f i e d w e n t t o p a y f o r t h e a d d i t i o n s t o t h e 









house a n d f u r n i t u r s (R. 12 5 ?) . 0 b v i o u s 1 v 1h \ e p r o c e e d s f r o m t h e s t o c k sale were 

used t or t h e p ar t i es’ c ommon b enef i t. 

V c *. * 

It was during this period of time, 1971975. while Morris was not being 
paid for his legal work with the Center, that he began to diversify his holdings 
of Times Mi r r or -Hit oc k . Def endant ’ s Ex h i b i t 122 shows that i n 1 ?70--1971,- Mor r i s 
purchased $2,095.000 worth of tax-free bonds from the proceeds derived from the 
sale of Times Mirror stock. Plaintiff’s Exhibit 76. the Husband’s personal 
financial statement of October 24, 1974, shows that the Husband had no salary or 
c:oiTimi ssions 1 n 1974. that he made $ 135.000 .00 i r. tax--ex&mpt bond interest in 
1974., that he received $26,263.00 from dividends and $10, BOO. 00 from real estate 
income. For 1974, he showed a total of 203,063.00 in income. In this year he 
r e c e i v e d n o s a 1 a r y f r o m e m p 3. o y m e n t. 

On October 31, 1969, Morris sold 200 shares of Times Mirror stock for 
$9,354.00 (Def. Ex. 127). When asked what was purchased with these proceeds, ,he 
replied: 

"A. ... It was probably for some furniture for the house 
causs it s 0c t ober 31, 1969, and we were buyin g some thin g s in 
there. Everything that I paid for in that house or anything 

came f r o m FuHer ?< Dee s stock. I.n eve r h ad any other _ source • 

of income anywhere for anything, 

Q. Qk ay. So, b as i c all y you d a n ot k n □ w ex ac 11 y what t hi at wen t 

f o r o t h e r t h a n p o s s i b 1 y h o m e f u r n i s h i n g s ? 

A. That or some living expenses or something like that. 

Probably home furnishings. " (R„ 1829). 

Morris was asked about the proceeds of the sale of 98 shares of Times Mirror 
stock on Januar\21, 1971, f or $3.742. showr on Def endant ’ s Ex[)i bi t 127. Morri s 
replied: 

"A. ... I just probably needed some money for something. 

Going on a trip to Europe or something. Something you need 
ext r a men ey f or." (R. 1329). 

1 "hiuthere i s no argument, and there can be no ar qumerit, that the i ncome 

from Morris’ premarital estate was not used for the common benefit of the family 

t h r o u g h 19 7 5. 11 i s w i t h r e g a r c! t o y ear's after 1975 o nly t h a t M o r r 1 s attempts to 

make an issue on this point, and during the trial he testified as follows (at 
page 1848): 

"The last four to five years of my earning, my salary at 
Southern Poverty Law Center and what other earnings I picked 
up, not counting dividends you know, covered my living 
expenses. " 

I n t h e f i r s t p 1 a c: e, e v e n i f t h i s w e r e a c: c: u r a t e ( which it is not) , unde r t h e 
terms of the statute it does not cause the exclusion of Morris’ premarital estate 
for a 1 i m o n y p u r p o s e s. 8 i n c e i t i s u n c o n t r o v e r t e d t hat the i n c: o m e fro m M o r r i s ’ 

premarital estate "has been used regularly for the common benefit of the parties" 
dur i ng the_Jjijist_ of thi s el even-year marr i age, thi s pi aces such 

property within l:he statutory exception. This pi a pert y is not removed from the 









exception even if, after the first seven years* Morris’ earned income .increased 

---' v-l . V . 

to the point that the family no longer needed ,.tp. rely upon the income from his 
premarital estate. Gr put another way. once, his premarital estate has been put 
into the "family pot" by being regularly used for the benefit of the family, the 
statute makes no provision for thereafter rsm ov inq it from the "family pot" by no 
longer using its income for family purposes. 

Mgre_ i m po r t ant I y h owev er * t h i s is n o t w h a t ^ .ha p p e n e d. M o r r i s ’ i n c o m e f r. o m 

the Southern Poverty Law Center and other sources nev e r _increased t o the poin t 

of being able to.coyer.high standard of living which the Dees f amily_en -joyed 

throughout their marr i age. The rec:ord clear 1 y shows the magnitude of the Dees 
fami1y 1ivin g expen ses. Durin g a typica1 twe1ve-month p eriod fr a m March, 1978 

through March, 1979, the actual cancelled checks of the parties show Chat they 
spent for f am.i 1 y and househo 1 d purposes a tota 1 of $83,966.50, or an average of 
almost $7,000 per month (PI. Ex. 103; Def. Ex, 94) l . During 1978, his gross 
sa 1 ary f rom the Southern Poverty Law Center was on 1 v $49,225.08, whic.h is the 
highest salary he had ever received from the Center (Answers to Interrogatories, 
PL Ex. 84). 


During another time period, i.e., May, 1978 through March, 1979, Morris testified 

(u. p o n p e n d e n t e .1 i t e h e a r i. n g) t h a t h e p u t $ 5,0 00 t cd $ 7,000 p e r m o n t h i n t h e i. r 

household account which was used to pay family expenses of. various kinds (Def. 
Ex, 53, p. 88). Expenses of this magnitude could hardly have been covered by his 
s a 1 a r y f r o m t h e 9 o u t hi e r n p o v e r1 y L a w C e n t e r . w h i c h w a s p aid i n t h e following 
am o unts (bef ore wi thho 1 d.i ng taxes) (Answe r s to Interrogatori es, P1. Ex. 84): 


1975 .. , , . .$9,500 

1976 ... ........ $36,750 

1977 ..... ...... $45, 100 

l Q-7P C ^ /'25 


T h e foil o w i n q s p e c: i f i c d e t a i 1 s f o r t h e s e y e a r s s h o w e v e n m o r e c 1 e a r 1 y t h a t 
M o r r i s a n d h i s f a. m i 1 y w e r e n o t 1 i v .i n g s o 1 e 1 v o f f h 1 s B o u t h e r n P o v e r t y L a w C e n t e r 
a n d o t h e r e a r n e d i n c: o m e« 

1975 

I n 19 7 5 M o r r i s m a d e a n 1 y $ 9,5 00 i n s a 1 a r \ • f r cd m t h e S o la t h e r n • F : ’ o v e r t y -Law 
Center (PI. Ex. 37; PI. Ex. 84). From this he paid $9,045.87 in federal income 
taxes for the previous year (PI, Ex. 38). Also in 1975 Morris and Maureens 
purchased a Mercedes automobile (PI. Ex. 37; PI. Ex, 43) What the family 
actua 11 v 3. i. ved of f dur i ng 1975 i s shown on Mor r i «■ persona 1 f i n a nci a 1 statement 
for that year (PI . Ex, "'7) : dividends, $13,532: real estate income, $10,800; 
t ax-e xe mpt bond in te re st, $ 120,632.50. 


1 In his testimony Morris attempts to classify some of these expenditures as "non"hon)e rt expenses, 
but he does not deny that all of these funds were spent for normal family-related purposes. 















V 


In 1 
income ta 
Ex. 36; P 
expenses 
i nsu-f f 1 ci 
month (PI 


Morris* saI ary f rom the Center 


.5 $36,750, 

313 -For net 

8 4) . D u r i n q t h a t y e a r, t h e p a r t i e s i n c u r r e d 
Ex. 26), leaving disposable salary of 
s u p p o r t t h e D e e s 1 i f e s t y 1 e w h i c h c: o s t a n a v e 
03? Be*. Ex. 94; Def. Ex. 53, p. 33). What 


1976 is s 
dividends 
of $137,2 


xes were withheldd in the amount of $ 

1. Ex. 

(PI . 

ent to 
. Ex. 1 

hown by Morrii 
of $9,499? real’ estate income of $17,500; and ta 
02.50. 


f 1 n a n c i a 1 s t a t e m e n t f o r t h a t 


f r om 
pay of 
$ 11,2 
$18, 
rage 
they 
year 
exempt 


which 
$29,4 
01 for 
231. 
of $7, 
lived 
(PI. E 
bond 


federal 
>2 (PI. 
medical 
This is 
000 per 
upon in 
x. 78): 
interest 


In 1977 Morris’ salary from the Center was $45, 100 (R!.„. Ex., 35? P.l. Ex. 34). 

His tax return also shows other business income of $9,066 (which we will assume 

was not derived from his premarital estate), for a total of $54,166. From this, 
he paid medical expenses totaling $11,441, taxes totaling $1,051, and accounting 
fees of $ 1,300. f or tota 1 documented expenses of $ 19, 957 (P.1. Ex. 35). In 

addition, in 1977 Morris purchased another Merdeces for $17,029 (PI. Ex. 35, form 
2106) , an d a mo t or c y c 1 s f or $2,000. Af t er a 11 o wing— f or - a 11 of these 

e x p e n d i t u r e s, t h i s 1 e a v e s a b a 1 a n c: e o f $ 15,000 o f e a r n e d i n c o me, still not n e a r 1 y 

enough to support the Dees family lifestyle. In fact, the family lived off of 
Morris’ Times Mirror dividends and his tax--free municipal bond income. 

1978 

In 1973 Morris made $49,225 from his salary at the Center (PI. Ex. 84), and 
had $5,300 in other business income which we will assume was not derived from his 
premarital estate (PI. Ex. 34), for a total of $54,525. From this, . $2,779 .was 

wi thhe]. d f or f edera 1 i ncoine taxes, 1 eavi ng a net of $5 i, 766. Ths _ actual 

cancelle d checks of t he parti es show that du ring th e t en-month period from March, 

197 E3 through Decem be r, 1978 the p a rt ies s pent $69,889.49 on ho usehold and _f ami ly 

r el ated ex pense s (P1. Ex . 103? Def . Ex . 94) . What actua 11 y supporte'd thi s 

lifestyle is shown on Morris’ personal financial statement for 1973 (PI. E. 79), 
which reflects dividends of $14,536, real estate income of $22,000, tax-exempt 
bond .interest of $137,202, and other bond interest of $3,750. A1 so in 1978, 
Morr i s so 1 d some of hi i s Ti mes Mir 1 ror stock, and wi thi part of the proceeds he 
purchased a diamond ring for Maureene (Def. Ex. 127). He also made a 
contribution of b1oc of Times Mirror stock valued at $9,709 to the Montgomery 
Academy, where their daughter El lie attends school (PI. Ex. 34). 

Under all of the circumstances, it is obvious that even after 1975, when 
M o r r 1 s w a s © a r n i n g s o m e i n c oin e, it was the inco me from hi s pre mar i tal e state, n o t 
just hi s c:urrent earni ngs, whi c:h supportec! the f ami 1 y. Thi s bei nq the case, the 
statutory exception quoted above becomes fully applicable, and for purposes of 
determining an appropri ate amaunt of a 1 imon’y, Morris’ enti re est a te must be 
considered. 


C. The Trial Court Erred In Prohi bit ing The Wife From 

Calling The Husband As A Witness 

At the beginning of the trial, the Wife’s attorneys called Morris Dees as 


n ;.'i. n a 
















f 


t h e i r f i r st w i t n 0 ss (R. 231) , Mor r i s ? a11 or n 9 y $ pb j ec t ecl t o h i s be i n g c: a lied as 
a witness, on the ground that he had not been .lasted by the Wife as 'a 'potential 

wi tn 9 ss as requi r 0 cl by the pretr i a 1 orcler (R*, 232) . However, M orr i s _ had been 

li ste d as a potential witn ess on be h alf o f himself , (R. 102, 104) , a n d .i n m a k i n g 

the objection, his attorneys stated that they planned to call him as--a-witness-as 
part of thei r case-.i n-chi.i.ef . Morr i 5 ' a11or n 0 yis argued that the Wi f e' s a11arneys 

w o u 1 d t h e n h a v e a n o p p o r t u n i t y t o c: r o s s -- e x a m i n e h i m (R. 232, e t s e q) . 

Incredibly, the trial judge sustained this objection, and refused to permit the 
Wife’s attorneys to call Norris as a witness as part of the Wife’s attorneys to 
call Morris as a witness as part of the Wife’s case-in-chief (R. 233). Only 

after the Wife's case had been concluded, and after Morris had testified 
extensively on his own behalf, did the Wife's attorneys have an opportunity to 
quesit i. on Morr 1 s, Thi s i s c 1 ear err or . 11 g av 9 Morr i s the obvi ous advantage of 

being able to hear the testimony of the Wife and all of her witnesses before 

being required to testify himself. He was thus given the opportunity to adjust 
his testimony as he might consider beneficial after hearing the testimony of the 
Wife a n cl h e r w i t n e s s e s. 

The case of Hughes v. Hu ghe s, 250 Ala. 519, 35 So.2d 112 (1948), is almost 
directly in point. In a hearing on the Husband's petition to modify an alimony 
a w a r d, t hi e H u s b a n d c: a 11 e cl t h e W i f e t. o t e s t i f y a s p a r t o f h i s c: a s 0 " -1 n - c: h i e f . she 
dec 1 i ned to testi f y, and the Hu 5 band' s. i nsi 5 1ence that she submi t to an 
examination was overru 1 ecl by the court, The A3 abama 9upreme Court h 9 Id this to 
be error and granted a reversal, stating as follows: 

"... The husband then proposed to examine the wife as a 
witness. She declined to testify. The husband's motion or 
insistence that she submit to an examination by the husband 
was overruled by the court. No point is made that the wife 
w a s n o t s u m m o n e d a s a w i t. n e s s, a n cl s h e w a s a c: t u a 11 y p resent 
i n court. 

lit _i s_ general 1 v held that a party may be us e d_as a witn ess 

for his opponent, and be required to give evidence df matters 

as to which he is comp etent . 70 Corpus Juris page-4, Section. 

13; Olive v. Adams,, 50 Ala. 373; Ex parte Brooks, Ala. Sup. 

32 So,2d 534. It was specifically held in Olive v. Adams, 
s u s p!- a, t h a t t h e r i g h t t o p r o p o u n d i n t e r r o g a t o r i e s 1 0 
adversary. Revised Code Section 2731, now section 477, Title 
7, Code of 1940, does not destroy the right to compel him to 
testify for the opposite party in open court, in- - ali •*cases 
w h e r e h e i s c o m p e t e n t. 

It will be argued that the Hughes case is distinguishable from the present 
case because here., the Wife did ultimately have an opportunity to cross-ex am mi ne 

M o r r i s. T h a t i s b e s 1 d e t hi e p o i n t. The adv a r 1 f a ae q 1 yen .to. Morr is_l:> v allowing hi m 

ta t:e s t i t v 1 as t was e no rmqus, and thie Wi f e' s pr esent at i. on was ser i o us 1 v • j. n j u r eci 
thereby, 

T h e p u r p c? s e o f t h e d i s c o v e r y p r o c e e d u r e s r e q u i r i n g p a r t i e s t o 9 y. c h a n g e 
witness lists is to prevent surprise witnesses. l't cannot be contended here that 
Morris and his attorneys were not fully aware that Morris would be a witness. 
Everybody in the courtroom had been aware for weeks that Morris was to be a key 
witness in the trial, and thus the purposes of the pretrial order were satisfied. 
The pretrial order does not regulate the s equen ce in which known witnesses -are to 














b s c a 11 0 d . Mor r i s w a s p r esen t i n t h e «:: ou r t r oamy ■ h e h ad b s b n d e s i g n a t ed as a 

witness; on behalf of himself, and his 1awyers^^tated that they planned to call 

him as a witness for their case- As petitioner, the Wife had the right and the 

burden of presenting evidence first, and there is not a shred of authority for 

the trial court’s prohibiting the Wife from calling Morris as a witness firs t. 

V. CONCLUSION 


T h s a p p e 1.1 a n t W i f e r e s p e c t f u 11 y r e q u e s t s t h i s C o u r t t o r e v e r s e a n d set a s i d e 
that portion of the 1ower court's decree se11ing a1imony, and to render judgment 
requiring the Husband to pay to her, as alimony-in-gross, cash or equivalent 
assets of at least $1,000,000, payable within thirty days of the date of this 
court's mandate. In the alternative, the Wife respectfully requests the Court to 
reverse the decree of the lower court and remand the cause for a new trial. 

IJpon a dec i si on of th i s appea 1, the Wi f e respectf u3.1 y r equests the Court *• to 

r e t a i n j u r i s d 1 c: t i o n f o r t h e p u r p o s e o f s e 11 i n g a r e a s enable f e e for the service s 
of her attorneys on appeal, and that at the proper time, they be permitted to 
file documentation concerning the appropriate amount of such a fee. 

Respectful 1y submitted, 


OF COUNSEL: 

SMITH, BOWMAN, THAGARD 
CROOK & CULPEPPER 
P.0. Bom 70 
M o n t g o m e r y, A L 3 6101 
T e 1 e p h o n e: (205) B 3 4 - 6 5 0 0